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Reconsider HUAWEI relationship, US lawmakers tell Google

The lawmakers also criticized Google for dropping its work with the Department of Defense.

Published onJune 21, 2018

HUAWEI P20 Pro vs Mate 10 Camera
  • Five U.S. lawmakers have signed an open letter calling for Google to rethink its partnership with HUAWEI.
  • The lawmakers criticized Google for withdrawing from a U.S. military project while continuing to work with the Chinese company.
  • Google says it doesn’t give manufacturers (including HUAWEI) any special access to user data.

Several U.S. lawmakers have signed an open letter calling for Google to reconsider its relationship with HUAWEI. The letter, spotted by FCW and addressed to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, asserts that the manufacturer has “extensive” ties to the Chinese Communist Party and poses a risk to national security.

The move comes after Google decided to withdraw from its work with the U.S. Department of Defense, following a backlash from Mountain View employees. The lawmakers also used the withdrawal to criticize Google’s stance.

“While we regret that Google did not want to continue a long and fruitful tradition of collaboration between military and technology companies, we are even more disappointed that Google apparently is more willing to support the Chinese Communist Party than the U.S. military,” read an excerpt of the letter.

A Google logo.

The open letter also mentioned recent reports of a former U.S. intelligence agent charged with spying for China, apparently using HUAWEI technology to communicate with his handlers.

The politicians concluded by saying they looked forward to hearing the rationale behind the decision to work with the Chinese brand but not the U.S. military.

Google hasn’t issued a full response just yet but a representative told Reuters it doesn’t give partnered manufacturers special access to data.

Dear HUAWEI, please fix your camera software
HUAWEI P20 Pro vs Mate 10 Camera

“Like many U.S. companies, we have agreements with dozens of OEMs around the world, including HUAWEI. We do not provide special access to Google user data as part of these agreement (sic), and our agreements include privacy and security protections for use (sic) data,” the representative was quoted as saying.

The move marks the latest chapter in the U.S. government’s fight against HUAWEI. Tensions boiled over at CES 2018, when AT&T made a last-minute decision to pull out of a deal to carry the Mate 10 Pro. It’s believed that AT&T pulled out of the agreement due to political pressure.

We’ve contacted Google for a response to the letter and will update the article accordingly.

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