Google Finally Stands Up For Huawei, Claims Ban Would Affect US Security, Too

The US Government in its trade war with China has made Huawei its target because of Huawei's close Chinese Government ties and the potential for espionage on American citizens. Google, however, is now offering another important argument: that is, denying Huawei Android access affects US security, too.

The reason goes like this: Huawei will be cut off from Android, its Android license effectively revoked, as of August 19th. What this means is that Huawei cannot have Google Play access on its smartphones or Google apps such as Maps, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Play Music, and so on.

Now, one would think that US security is safe but the truth is that, without Google Play access, Huawei phones do not have access to Google Play Protect. Google Play Protect is a baked-in feature of Google Play access that requires every app to be scanned for malware before it's downloaded.

Without Google Play access, Huawei phones are not scanned for malware. But for some reason, Huawei smartphone users and other Android phone users exchange information back and forth between one another.

If someone with, say, a Google Pixel device sends sensitive information to a Huawei phone that lacks malware protection, such information will be compromised regardless of end-to-end encryption.

So, even without giving Huawei access to Google Play, Google apps, or Android access, American national security can (and will) still be compromised because of the malware risk. A Huawei smartphone without Google Play Protect is far more compromised and hackable than one with it.

Now, it's true that American national security could still be compromised with Huawei having a "forked Android" experience where it uses Android Open Source Project (AOSP) instead of Google's own customized Android experience.

But that's a different argument (and one far less likely) than allowing Huawei Android access where the Chinese Government is easily able to spy on American citizens unfettered.

What the Federal Government wants to do is frustrate the ease of access and espionage on American citizens to such an extent that it becomes downright difficult, if not impossible, to do so.

US President Donald J. Trump declared a trade war on China in Mid-May by placing Chinese company Huawei on America's Entity List and requiring American companies to seek governmental approval in doing business with Huawei.

Huawei's blacklisting resulted in Google revoking Huawei's Android license just a few days later and removing Huawei from its Android.com flagships as well as its Android Q Beta Program.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is back in the Android Q Beta Program list, but only for 90 days (due to the three-month reprieve of the US Government). On August 19th, the Mate 20 Pro will be removed from the Android Q Beta Program, once more.

Since then, other companies have followed suit, such as Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm, ARM, and so on. Even the Wi-Fi Alliance and SD Associations have dropped Huawei as an influence in the future of their technologies though allowing Huawei to retain its membership with the associations.

Just days ago, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) dropped Huawei from membership, meaning that Huawei can still exercise voting rights but cannot review or edit papers on IEEE's website or digital archive.

Though the Trump Ban is designed to strike back at China, a number of American companies such as Skyworks and Qualcomm that conduct business with Huawei will feel the financial pain of such an order because Huawei is the second top manufacturer in the world, having surpassed Apple, and is only second to Samsung worldwide.

American companies that do business with Huawei make money because of Huawei's large-scale popularity in China.

Huawei's blacklisting from Android and US technologies (even ARM has American patents that must be respected as American technologies) has led the Chinese OEM to trademark its own forked version of Android called "ARK OS."

And, as of this week, Huawei is still updating devices (seven smartphones) to its EMUI 9.0 overlay atop Android 9.0 Pie, while bringing an AOD update to its Huawei Watch GT. The company plans to update its devices for the next three months, giving customers the best it can before the Google Android license revocation takes full effect.

Huawei has said in response to the Trump Ban and its Android license revocation that it is willing to sign a "no spy" agreement with the US and other countries, provided those countries still do financial business with the Chinese OEM.

But spy agreements may prove to be nothing more than a political Band-Aid; in the event of an espionage directive from the Chinese Government, Huawei would either be forced to comply with China, thus violating the no spy agreements, or break with its national government in treasonist fashion.

Currently, Huawei has gone on a full-scale independent strike against all American companies, with the company employing 10,000 of its approximately 180,000 employees in three work shifts around the clock to free itself from all American dependency in the mobile space.

Sources say that workers in Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Xi'an have been locked in their offices for several days and have yet to emerge from them to rest.

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About the Author

Deidre Richardson

Staff News Writer
Deidre Richardson is a tech lover whose insatiable desire for all things tech has kept her in tech journalism some eight years now. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned BA degrees in both History and Music. Since graduating from Carolina in 2006, Richardson obtained a Master of Divinity degree and spent four years in postgraduate seminary studies. She's written five books since 2017 and all of them are available at Amazon. You can connect with Deidre Richardson on Facebook.