US government is pressuring Google to break its ties with Huawei
US lawmakers say Google is "apparently is more willing to support the Chinese Communist Party than the US military" -- because of Google's work with Huawei.
Lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic parties have jointly sent a letter to Google chief executive Sundar Pichai to express their concerns over Google's partnership with Huawei.
The letter cites warnings from US intelligence about Huawei's ties to the Chinese government -- and claims the deal between Google and Huawei could cause a national security risk.
A Google spokesperson said the company’s agreements with Huawei are the same as with any other smartphone maker, and that Google user data is not shared with Huawei.
If Google complied with the lawmakers’ request to reconsider its business relationship with Huawei, that could lead to the Chinese company not being able to use Google software and services on its devices. Those include Google Play Store, Gmail and YouTube. That would hurt Huawei’s efforts to expand the sale of its smartphones outside of China.
Still, Huawei may have other options based on repeated reports about Huawei developing its own operating system.The South China Morning Post reported in April that Huawei had been working on such software since 2012, when the US started investigating the company and ZTE.
That operating system was never released because it was not as good as Android and did not have enough app developers to support it, the report said.
Even with its own OS, Huawei’s international expansion plans would receive a major blow if Google pulled all its software and services from Huawei devices. Few people outside of China would likely choose using a smartphone that did not run Gmail or YouTube.
Huawei’s response at the time was that it had no plans to release its own mobile operating system because it was focused on Android products. The company, however, said it remained open to the idea of operating an alternative mobile OS.