The move is a blow to Huawei, given that Best Buy was one of its only retail partners in the US.
Word has it that Huawei has lost one of its only friends in the US: Best Buy.
CNET on Thursday reported that the big box electronics retailer has decided to cut ties with the Chinese smartphone giant. The news outlet, citing an unnamed source, reported that Best Buy “has ceased ordering new smartphones from Huawei and will stop selling its products over the next few weeks.”
In a statement to PCMag, Huawei said it “values the relationship it has with Best Buy” and all of its other retail partners. “As a policy, we do not discuss the details of our partner relationships,” the company added.
Best Buy’s official statement on the matter is similarly vague: “We don’t comment on specific contracts with vendors, and we make decisions to change what we sell for a variety of reasons,” a Best Buy spokesperson told PCMag.
On Twitter Thursday, GlobalData analyst Avi Greengart called the decision “devastating for Huawei” given that Best Buy was its “sole U.S. physical retail distribution channel for its phones.”
A handful of US retailers, including Best Buy, opened pre-orders for Huawei’s latest flagship smartphone, the Mate 10 Pro, in February. Meanwhile, US carriers like AT&T and Verizon decided not to sell the handset, reportedly due to pressure from the US government. Huawei came under scrutiny from Congress in 2012 about potentially spying for the Chinese government, which it denies vehemently. Since then, the company has faced trouble finding a foothold for its phones at carriers, which control the vast majority of US phone sales.
In its statement to PCMag today, Huawei said its products are sold “by 46 of the top 50 global operators,” adding that it has “won the trust and confidence of individuals and organizations in 170 countries around the world.”
“We are committed to earning that same trust with US consumers and making our products accessible in as many ways as possible,” Huawei added.