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By | Chris Mellor 6th February 2012 08:29

Huawei-Symantec sneaks out of US back door

Has it been booted out?

Huawei-Symantec, the joint venture between Huawei and Symantec, has effectively stopped trading and is leaving the United States.

This follows the US government's blockade of several of its acquisitions, including parent Huawei's deal to snap up 3Leaf Systems, which it sought to acquire in May 2010 for $2m and its attempted acquisition of 3com in 2008.

As reported in Channelnomics, Huawei-Symantec (H-S) general manager Jane Li has told partners and customers that H-S is deserting the USA in March, when the buyout of H-S from Symantec closes.

US customers will be supported from Huawei Symantec Hong Kong which is, despite its name, wholly owned by Huawei. Between 30 and 60 US employees were laid off by H-S in late January.

Daniel Dolan, DMR channel manager North America at H-S sent out a LinkedIn message on 24 January saying: "Huawei Symantec closes its doors today..."

Instead of H-S in the USA merging with its soon-to-be parent, Huawei, it is simply being closed down.

Previous Register enquiries to H-S about the US closure have been fobbed off with statements like this one from Bill Plummer, VP external relations for H-S in the USA, on 20 January, just four days before the employees were pink-slipped:

Huawei’s purchase of the Symantec stake in Huawei Symantec has not closed so we are not in a position at this time to discuss the future structure of the company. We remain fully committed to this business and to investing further to enable it to achieve its full potential.

That is so much nonsense – unless of course it is "fully committed" to closing it down.

It may be that US regulators wouldn't approve the buyout of H-S by Huawei unless H-S in the USA was closed down, seemingly trading off US jobs against xenophobia about China. Apparently other H-S businesses around the world outside the USA are not closing down, H-S in the UK being unaffected.

That company won't make any official statement until the end of March but we understand its assumption is that it will be 100 per cent absorbed by Huawei and carry on in business. ®

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