Google apparently has warned the Trump administration that banning Huawei could increase the US National security risks. According to a new report by financial times, Google executives are pushing for an exemption from that basically banned US companies from doing any kind of business with the Chinese company.
The main point of the whole issue is that banning Huawei would be forced to fork Android into a “hybrid” version that would be more at risk of being hacked, not least by China. Google has been ordered like all the US companies not to do any business with Huawei. If we look at the long term side it means Google would not be able to provide any of its services on Huawei phones. In the short term, the company has secured a temporary license to continue to supply software update to current phones.
“Like other US companies, we’re engaging with the Department of Commerce to ensure we’re in full compliance with its requirements and temporary license,” a Google spokesperson said in an emailed statement responding to the report. “Our focus is on protecting the security of Google users on the millions of existing Huawei handsets in the US and around the world.”
Last month in accordance with the National emergency declared by Trump administration, the US-China trade talks collapsed. That in result prompting protests from some of the biggest US technology companies who fear they could get hurt in the fallout. Google cut off Huawei’s potential support. The Chinese company responded on the matter saying it could launch its own operating system. The company further said they have been in works for many years and might release in early fall.
Google has taken some steps towards immediate ending business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware and/or software products. It means that the Google play store, Play Services, and partnership within the Android operating system itself will no longer be given to Huawei.
Trump administration, on the other hand, grant a 90-day window to allow companies to adjust them. But Google is asking an excuse from the ban or an extension. More specifically, Google is more concerned that it would not be allowed to update its Android operating system on Huawei phones. Google argues a Huawei-modified version of Android would be more susceptible to being hacked.
As Huawei phones are already banned in the US, there is no understanding of how Google is making that case about a forked version of Android being sold elsewhere in the world is a serious threat to US national security might seem like an out of the way story.
“Google has been arguing that by stopping it from dealing with Huawei, the US risks creating two kinds of Android operating system: the genuine version and a hybrid one. The hybrid one is likely to have more bugs in it than the Google one, and so could put Huawei phones more at risk of being hacked, not least by China.”
Washington has been concerned for years that the telecom equipment sold by Huawei could be used by Beijing to conduct an act of hacking. Last month, the Trump administration launched a new set of measures targetting the Chinese company. This also includes giving the commerce department power banning Huawei from selling 5G equipment in the US, as well as a blanket ban on American companies selling their products to the Chinese group.
Therefore in the past few weeks, Google execs have reached the commerce department asking for an exemption from the ban altogether. By doing so, it has joined some groups representing major US microchip makers such as Qualcomm who was also worried that this ban might affect their business as well.
An official representative of the commerce department said that “inquiries from companies regarding the scope of regulatory requirements, ensure private industry compliance with export controls. “This is not new to this administration, nor do these discussions influence law enforcement actions,The highest priority of the department and BIS remains the protection of our nation’s security.”
There is no doubt Huawei is the number one seller of smartphones in the world, and if by chance they have successfully created their own OS things would get a lot worse for Google.
Google said: “Like other US companies, we’re engaging with the Department of Commerce to ensure we’re in full compliance with its requirements and temporary license. Our focus is on protecting the security of Google users on the millions of existing Huawei handsets in the US and around the world.”
Even if we did not add Google for a moment there are a lot of other US companies who would lose a significant amount of money if they cut ties with a company like Huawei. Google’s temporary license to supply Huawei phones with updates will expire on August 19th.