United States technology giant, Google, is making a case for Huawei before the Trump administration why it shouldn’t stop providing Android services to the world’s second largest phone manufacturer.
According to the Financial Times, Google is insisting that it needs to continue providing technology to Huawei in the interest of US national security.
The United States government had last month, banned American businesses from selling semi-conductors, software and other components to Huawei.
This meant that Huawei phones will in the future, no longer enjoy Google Play Store, Gmail and
other associated Google services on Android.
In making a case for Huawei, Google’s senior officials warned that updating its Android operating system on Huawei’s smartphones would not be feasible with the ban in place.
This in turn would prompt Huawei to develop its own version of Android, which as quoted by the Financial Times, could be more vulnerable to hacking risks.
Such a scenario is potentially risky for Google. Should Huawei develop its own version of Android, Google can’t control it and so can’t manage security upgrades.
Accessing consumer data, a function which makes Google’s services useful and pushes advertising revenue, would also be impossible.
Bloomberg reported that the U.S Commerce Department’s decision to institute the ban, was as a result of the threat posed by Huawei’s networking and smartphone operations.
Under the order, U.S. suppliers are able to appeal for special approval to continue selling to Huawei.
Alternative Operating System
Chairman, Huawei’s China operations, Liang Hua, confirmed to some American reporters that Google was working with the Commerce Department to find a solution.
Hua added that it would be to customers’ benefit if a solution were worked out between Google and the U.S. government.
Huawei has had no direct negotiations with the U.S. government. However, the company remains interested in the outcome of the Google talks. The phone manufacturer had previously said it could develop an alternative operating system, should the situation call for it.
An alternative operating system presents several risks for Google. Developing a Huawei version of Android means Google can’t control it, and so can’t manage security upgrades.
It also will not be able to access consumer data, a function that makes its services useful and pushes up advertising revenue.
A Bloomberg report said Trump’s administration had warned that Huawei equipment supplied to telecom carriers worldwide, could be exploited by Beijing to aid espionage and surveillance activities.
In the meantime, Google has obtained a temporary license to continue to supply software updates to Huawei existing phones. This temporary reprieve is expected to end in August 2019.