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Under U.S. Scrutiny, Huawei Aims for Small Victories

Last fall, the Washington Redskins football team announced a deal with world’s largest telecom-equipment provider, Huawei Technologies of China, to outfit its stadium with a Wi-Fi network. Several weeks later, the deal was quietly unwound. American firms Verizon and Cisco Systems got the assignment instead.

Huawei and the Redskins won’t say why, but the reversal is widely presumed to be a result of U.S. government pressure on the team to not do business with a company that it has long considered a possible threat to national security. It was the latest example of state efforts to stifle Huawei’s expansion into the U.S.

Then earlier this year, a glimmer of hope. AT&T completed its acquisition of a top Mexican wireless carrier that is a big customer of Huawei equipment.

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In the long run, “the U.S. will have to learn to work with Huawei”—meaning relaxing its stance—given that Huawei almost certainly will continue to be a leader in its field, says one former U.S. government official.