While Huawei's Chief Financial Officer faces extradition to the United States over claims that the company avoided U.S. sanctions on Iran, Huawei might be facing another blow. According to Reuters, a U.S. security council is expected to approve the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, on one condition — the combined carrier can't use networking equipment from Huawei.
Several countries around the world have now banned (or are trying to ban) Huawei's networking equipment, among fears that they could enable a backdoor for the Chinese government to conduct surveillance. Huawei has continued to claim these security concerns are unfounded, and to date, there has been no public evidence that the company is conducting surveillance for China.
T-Mobile and Sprint currently don't use any networking hardware from Huawei, but their parent companies do in other countries. U.S. officials have reportedly been pressuring Deutsche Telekom AG (T-Mobile's parent company) to quit using Huawei equipment, and SoftBank (Sprint's parent company) is rumored to be replacing Huawei hardware with products from Nokia and Ericsson.
The merger of T-Mobile and Sprint still has to be approved by the U.S. Justice Department and FCC. Negotiations between the government and the two carriers is still ongoing, and sources told Reuters that any deal could still fall through.
T-Mobile and WSJ confirm
Both the Wall Street Journal and T-Mobile itself have confirmed further approval of the upcoming merge from both "Team Telecom" (which includes the Justice, Homeland Security, and Defense departments) and the Committee on Foreign Investments. Approval from anti-trust regulatory agencies including the FCC is still absent, though word is expected to come down sometime in the first half of 2019.