July 15, 2020 / 3:04 PM / in a month

America Movil says Huawei an excellent provider but not the sole option

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican telecoms giant America Movil regards Huawei Technologies Co Ltd as an excellent telecoms equipment provider, but it can use other vendors if necessary, the chief of the company controlled by tycoon Carlos Slim said on Wednesday.

Telecom operators globally are trying to balance the need for the Chinese company’s affordable and reliable equipment with the U.S. campaign to steer countries away from using its gear.

“We think Huawei is an excellent provider,” said America Movil Chief Executive Daniel Hajj in response to questions on a conference call about moves to stop Huawei from doing business in some countries.

But “there are other vendors we can use,” he added.

As early as the 1990s, Huawei executives began pitching their services in Mexico. Competing aggressively on price and recruiting talent, Huawei eventually won big swaths of the market, supplying virtually all major players including the leader America Movil.

The Trump administration has said top Chinese firms, including Huawei, are owned or controlled by the Chinese military, laying the groundwork for U.S. financial sanctions.

Hajj was on the call to discuss America Movil’s second-quarter earnings. Its net profit jumped 40% after its agreement with U.S. unit TracFone reduced service costs, helping to offset damage from the pandemic.

Hajj also said the company would reduce capital expenditure from this year’s forecast, but did not specify the amount.

Separately, America Movil said one of its units, AMCO, had formed a strategic partnership with U.S. firm Verizon Media for its advertising business in Mexico.

Reporting by Stefanie Eschenbacher and Noe Torres; Editing by Richard Chang

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