According to German blog WinFuture, VP of Huawei Consumer Business Group Colin Giles confirmed on the record that the company passed on a chance to be the manufacturer of the Google Pixel. The reason, according to Giles, was as we reported a little over a month ago: branding.
Huawei had no desire to go back to making phones for someone else, and Google didn't want a manufacturing partner's trademark featured anywhere on the Pixels or in their marketing. So, a potentially multi-year smartphone partnership that started with the Nexus 6P instead ended there. What could have been will likely remain a mystery - it's not even clear if Google's plans for the Pixel phones had fully materialized during negotiations with Huawei, or if the resultant decision to go with HTC may have led to larger strategy changes for the products.
Huawei, of course, contends that it still has a strong relationship with Google, and rumors from the likes of Evan Blass and 9to5Google support that narrative. Huawei is allegedly working as the manufacturer of a 7" tablet meant to run a preview of Google's next-generation operating system based on Android, codenamed Andromeda. But that story has not received any further substantiation in the weeks after Google's big hardware event in October. Though that may not mean much - Google is heavily promoting its new product portfolio with Pixel, Home, Wi-Fi, and Assistant, and likely wants to keep discussion of future products locked down tight to let consumers and the media alike focus on the here and now.
As to that Huawei Pixel so many had pined for, well: at least you're getting some closure.