Best Buy, the large consumer electronics retailer, plans to sever ties with Chinese phone maker Huawei amid U.S. government criticism of the phone maker, according to people familiar with the matter.
The retail giant will stop selling all Huawei phones, laptops, and smartwatches in the coming weeks, they said. In addition, Best Buy won't sell phones under the Honor brand, a Huawei subsidiary that was supposed to help the Chinese phone maker sell in lower-cost smartphone markets globally, including in the U.S.
Best Buy follows U.S. mobile-phone carriers AT&T and Verizon Communications in distancing themselves from Huawei, which has come under scrutiny by U.S. officials concerned about whether the company is too closely affiliated with the Chinese government.
After the top two U.S. carriers decided not to go forward with Huawei devices, the company began selling its latest phone, the Mate 10 Pro, directly to consumers, through outlets like Best Buy and Amazon. The device is still available on Best Buy's website, but the retail giant won't purchase new supply from Huawei and will stop selling the phone in the coming weeks, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the retailer's action isn't yet public.
"Huawei currently sells its products through a range of leading consumer electronics retailers in the U.S.," the Chinese company said in a statement. "We have a proven history of delivering products that meet the highest security, privacy and engineering standards in the industry and are certified by the Federal Communications Commission for sale in the U.S."
A Best Buy representative declined to comment. Best Buy's plan to stop selling Huawei smartphones was earlier reported by CNET.
-- Bloomberg News