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According to a senior Huawei representative, Google implicitly assumes the role of a Huawei emissary negotiating with the Department of Commerce on behalf of the Chinese telecommunications giants blacklisted in the US.
The fate of Huawei and Google are intertwined. Huawei is a leader in the development of next generation mobile networks and the world's second largest manufacturer of smartphones. Google has support for Android, the popular mobile operating system. The US government's ban on Huawei also prevents Google from providing millions of existing Huawei phones with security updates and will stop granting Android licenses in the future. The problem of losing access to Google software.
"Google is a very responsible company. We have a very good cooperation." Liang said through a translator at Huawei headquarters in Shenzhen, China. "We are very excited about the productive communications results that Google currently has with the Commerce Department."
When the Huawei ban came into effect and Google announced that it would cut neckties, there was an outcry. Days later, the Trump administration announced plans to postpone parts of the ban to August.
The immense power of American technology giants is known worldwide. Huawei's Liang now relies on Google to influence the commercial department in his company.
"We really hope that communication between Google and Google will remedy the trade department," he said. "We believe that consumers will benefit if they find a solution."
Last month, the Trump administration added Huawei to a list of banned companies, citing national security concerns. American companies – from mobile operators to chip manufacturers like Intel and Qualcomm – are not allowed to do business with Huawei. According to US officials, the company's technology could be used for surveillance. If a solution is not achieved, Huawei has to develop its own software, which is "difficult".
Liang does not know the details of the talks. In an email, a Google spokesperson said that the company is working with the Commerce Department to ensure that Google "fully complies" with the new rules. The company declined to announce whether its discussions with the government directly or indirectly supported support for future Huawei devices.
NPR interviewed several former senior officials at Commerce and the The White House is worried that a private company ruled by its own interests is in favor of a foreign partner, which was officially blacklisted for security reasons.
Eric Hirschhorn turns Huawei into a negotiating partner in the US Trade war was a strategic mistake. "I've spent a lot of time separating national security and trade," he said. A mixture of the two "would have been unheard of".
Hirschhorn served as Undersecretary for Industry and Security during the Obama administration's Ministry of Commerce.
According to former trade officials, it is standard practice for companies to contact the US government department about their ability to do business overseas. But even the foreign partner is often at the table and can talk and be interviewed.
Hirschhorn says the process will change as soon as the US government decides to do so – as it did last month when the US banned Huawei , He says corporate finance should not be taken into account alongside national security decisions. And if Huawei gets what it wants through Google's efforts, it sends "very, very bad news" to people who violate American rules.
"If I know that my government or my powerful business partner can do this basically If I fix a ticket, I'm not worried about speeding," says Hirschhorn. It is said that this is not new to this government and that discussions have no impact on law enforcement actions.
Pallavi Gogoi of NPR contributed to this report.