Google has warned the Trump administration that the ban on Huawei may risk national security. The tech giant has asked to be exempted from the list of companies banned from working with Huawei.
Senior Google offices have explained that if Huawei is blocked from accessing the Google-developed Android operating system it will be forced to develop its own alternative and that a Huawei-modified version of Android could then be more vulnerable to hacking risks.
Is Huawei a security threat either way?
The Trump-led U.S. government created an ‘entity list’ of Chinese companies that would block them from buying semiconductors, software and other components from American suppliers. As the second biggest smartphone seller in the world, Huawei was hit hard by the new policy.
The government claims the company presents a security threat to the nation because the equipment it supplies to telecom carriers could be used as espionage tools. The new policy from the Commerce Department allows for American companies to appeal for special approval to continue trading with the restricted companies. Huawei has said they are working with Google to find a solution to the crisis.
U.S. needs Huawei too
Huawei’s Chairman Liang Hua says both China and the U.S. will benefit from finding a solution. “In the short term there is some impact on our business,” he told reporters visiting a Huawei factory in China. ‘In the long term, we will have to develop our own operating system and ecosystem.”
Huawei has not appealed directly to the U.S. government but hopes the Google negotiations will go well. The company says that if they lose full access to Android they have the ability to create their own operating system within a very fast timeframe. Google is set to lose a lot if they cannot reach a deal with the U.S government. Huawei is one of their biggest customers.
Google needs Huawei's users' data
Google collects data from its Android users that it uses to make its services useful as well as for its advertising revenue. In good news for the embattled company, Huawei has announced it will work with Russian telecom company MTS to develop Russia's 5G network.
The deal was announced earlier in the week as part of a meeting between Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The US has urged its allies not to work with Huawei on any 5G technology claiming the company is a security threat. Australia and New Zealand have already ruled any deal with Huawei, but the United Kingdom may still use Huawei for what it is calling ‘non core’ items of a 5G network.