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Google is seeking to continue doing business with Huawei and has warned the Trump administration that it risks compromising national security if it moves ahead with a sweeping ban on the Chinese company, the Financial Times (FT) reported on Thursday.
Google's senior executives are lobbying U.S. officials to exempt it from an order that bans American companies from supplying software and components to the Chinese telecom giant, the newspaper said, citing three people briefed on the conversations.
The U.S. administration in May added Huawei to a trade blacklist after the China-U.S. trade talks suffered a major setback. The move, which put Huawei and 68 affiliates in more than two dozen countries on the Commerce Department's so-called Entity List, has prompted protests from several of the biggest U.S. tech companies.
Google has since then suspended business with Huawei after the ban, cutting it off from updates to the Android operating system.
While the sanctions are expected to hurt Huawei in the short term, industry experts say it could force the company – and other Chinese firms – to become self-reliant by developing more home-grown technologies, hurting the dominance of American companies such as Google in the longer term.
Google, in particular, is concerned it would not be allowed to update its Android operating system on Huawei smartphones, which it argues would prompt the Chinese company to develop its own version of the software, FT reported, citing people briefed on Google's lobbying efforts.
The search giant argued that a Huawei-modified version of Android would be more susceptible to being hacked, the newspaper said.
Senior Google executives have approached the U.S. commerce department asking either for another extension or to be exempted from the ban altogether, FT 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,” Google told FT.