Microsoft 'kicks Huawei out' of Windows Phone 8 global launch

Summary:Under pressure from the U.S. government, Huawei will miss the Windows Phone 8 launch today. Facing setbacks, Chinese smartphones makers could turn to developing their own mobile operation systems.

Amid the intensifying disputes over whether Huawei threatens U.S. national security , the Chinese telecom equipment and cellphone maker will miss the Windows Phone 8 global launch in San Francisco later today.

As one of Microsoft's four Windows Phone 8 device manufacturers -- the other three being Nokia, Samsung, and HTC -- Huawei's forced absence was linked to the pressure from the U.S. government, at least to the company's vice president Yu Chengdong.

Microsoft had claimed that it made the decision out of different marketing strategies.

"We are one of the four [Windows Phone 8] makers and yet [we] could not attend the global launch," Yu wrote on his Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. "I hope this inapprehensible situation brings no surprise in the midst of political and business struggles between China and the U.S."

The U.S. House Intelligence Committee recently released a report stating that Huawei's lack of operation transparency hindered its investigation, and its alleged links to the Chinese Liberation Army threatened the U.S. national security.

In a hope to boost the company's image, Huawei invited CBS News 60 Minutes to its headquarters in Shenzhen, China during the summer to interview Bill Plummer, the firm's U.S. spokesperson, while Huawei's mysterious chief executive Ren Zhengfei continued to fly under the radar and avoided all Western media coverage.

In face of serial setbacks, Huawei and counterpart ZTE, are developing their own operating systems to rival Android, iOS and Windows Phone platforms. According to Huawei's consumer products Wan Biao, the operation system research and development is underway; ZTE also plans to launch its own operating system in China during the fourth quarter, said vice executive president He Shiyou in a talk with a local website.

Image credit: Brian Bennett/CNET.

Topics: China, Government : US, Microsoft, Mobile OS, Smartphones, Windows


Liu Jiayi is a Hong Kong-based writer and editor. He produces video stories for Al Jazeera English and Seven News Australia, and also worked as the video editor for the Hong Kong-San Francisco Ocean Film Festival 2012. He is studying under a Master of Journalism Programme at the University of Hong Kong.

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