China

Chinese Telecom, Accused of Being Front for Spying, to Leave US Market

Huawei to no longer look for business in the states

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The CEO of the world's biggest telecommunications equipment maker, which for years has been labeled by U.S. officials as a proxy for Chinese military and intelligence agencies, says he's giving up on America.

In a rare interview on Nov. 25 interview with French journalists, Ren Zhengfei, the 69-year-old founder and CEO of China-based Huawei, said he would no longer look for business in the United States, in the wake of accusations from lawmakers and government officials that the company is a de facto arm of the Chinese authorities. "If Huawei gets in the middle of U.S-China relations,"  and causes problems, "it's not worth it," Ren reportedly said, according to a Chinese transcript of the interview. "Therefore, we have decided to exit the U.S. market, and not stay in the middle."

It wasn't immediately clear what Ren meant by "exit" the market, but for the company, the U.S. market could easily be described as hostile. Lawmakers have exhorted American firms companies to stop doing business with Huawei, and federal regulators have tried to block the spread of the company's equipment in the United States.