Dignitaries Come on Board to Ease Huawei Into U.S.

A little-known company working to open the U.S. market to telecommunications gear made by China’s Huawei Technologies Co. has added a pair of dignitaries to its board in an attempt to address the security concerns around Huawei.

The firm, Amerilink Telecom Corp., in recent months has recruited former congressional leader Richard Gephardt and former World Bank President James Wolfensohn as directors. It hopes the appointments will help overcome U.S. officials’ skepticism about Huawei, which has hired Amerilink as a consultant and distribution partner.

Huawei is one of the world’s top suppliers of telecom gear, but alleged ties to the Chinese military have stymied its ambitions in the U.S. market. It is currently trying to win part of a multibillion-dollar network upgrade at Sprint Nextel Corp (S).

Sprint says the bidding is entering the final stages and six vendors are submitting proposals. It declined to comment on Huawei or Amerilink, which have made a joint bid.

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