All 3 Japanese & Deutsche Telekom join the Americans

The U.S. boycott is growing far faster than anyone expected and now looks to cut Huawei sales by US$2-3 billion per year. This is significant even to a company doing US$100 billion in sales this year. There is pressure on India, Italy, and Canada; In all cases, the telcos are unhappy because Huawei is important to them, but resistance may be futile. 

Deutsche Telekom and Softbank want the government to approve the T-Mobile/Sprint merger, a very bad deal for consumers. They are particularly subject to pressure.

DT and Softbank backing away from Huawei is consistent with a behind the scenes deal with the U.S. security interests.  Depending on the assumptions, approval of the deal is worth $10 billion to US$20 billion to the companies. I have absolutely no direct data.

I’ve been close enough to U.S. policy to know that “national security” overrides everything else. If that’s the deal, the Justice Department and the FCC would go along.  I first thought this could be a special case.

When NTT DOCOMO and KDDI  joined, I had to revise my thinking. The Japanese government made the decision, presumably with behind the scenes conversations with the Americans. Relations with China are crucial to Japan, but the U.S. nuclear umbrella is even more important. 

Softbank, NTT DOCOMO, and KDDI spend about US$10 billion on capex each year. Only some of that is equipment and only some of the equipment comes from Huawei. The total Huawei will lose is probably over US$1 billion.

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