It’s fair to say that CES’s keynote speakers aren’t the highlight of the show. After all, most of the news from the tech event comes from the amazing products on the floor.
But, when Richard Yu, the CEO of Chinese smartphone maker Huawei’s consumer products division, took the stage, things got interesting.
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After struggling through an hour of prepared remarks, he switched gears. In front of a slide that read “Something I Want to Share,” he started to speak without a script about this disappointment over AT&;T’s last-minute pull out of a deal to carry Huawei phones in the U.S. over apparent security concerns.
“Everybody knows that in the U.S. market that over 90 percent of smartphones are sold by carrier channels,” The Verge reports Yu saying “It’s a big loss for us, and also for carriers, but the more big loss is for consumers, because consumers don’t have the best choice.”
He also shared his frustration about the mistrust and scrutiny his company has received, noting Huawei has made strides. “We’ve won the trust of the Chinese carriers,” Yu said during his CES speech. “We’ve also won spots on all of the European carriers. We’ve proven our quality, we’ve proven our privacy and security protection.”
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Huawei — pronounced “wah-way” — is the now the world’s third largest smartphone maker, so the loss of the AT&;T deal is a big blow to the company.
Whatever Huawei’s intent was with Yu’s remarks, it certainly has people’s attention now.