Google warns that Huawei without Android poses US security risk

Google warns that Huawei without Android poses US security risk

The Financial Times reports that Google is trying to convince the Trump administration that it's in the interest of US national security to allow Huawei to use Android and Google's services on its smartphones.

As you probably already know since the story has been unfolding for weeks, US companies have been banned from having any business relationships with Huawei, making the Chinese firm the unfortunate collateral damage of Trump's trade war with China. Alphabet, and thus Google, are no exception to this, even if the company has been given a temporary license to continue giving software updates to existing phones until August 19.

Beyond the short term, if things continue on this course, upcoming Huawei smartphones won't be able to receive future Android updates, and will lose access to Google apps and services, making the future very uncertain. But, according to a new report, Google may be fighting against this.

The Financial Times' source said that Google is arguing to the US government that if Huawei were to fork Android, the hybrid version that results from this may be "more at risk of being hacked, not least by China."

Even though Huawei phones are banned in the US, if this forked version of Android were sold elsewhere, it could still create vulnerabilities for US security, since US companies or individuals could send information to these potentially insecure devices.

AndroidPIT huawei p30 pro back3
It is a shame for US smartphone fans that Huawei devices are being banned. / © NextPit

Without Google's services, phones would be less secure because they would lack, for example, Google Play Protect, which scans for malware and other threats automatically, and because most people get their apps from the Play Store, where app security is checked more than on other Android app stores you might find. Plus, even with end-to-end encryption, a phone infected with malware may still be able to see information that passes through the device.

Huawei has stated that it is waiting to see how Google talks evolve, according to Bloomberg. If Google is able to convince the Trump administration that it is in the best interest of US national security to keep Huawei from hurriedly creating its own OS (or building one off a version of Android without Google services that it's already using in China), we may see a quicker end to this rapidly developing and troublesome situation.

Do you think Google will succeed in making its case? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Liked this article? Share now!
Join the discussion


Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing

  • DickB Jun 8, 2019 Link to comment

    IMO, Google's concern for security is a bit thin. I think that they are concerned that Huawei will create an Android fork that will compete with their services in a large part of the world and cost them revenue. Follow the money.

  • storm Jun 7, 2019 Link to comment

    Google also scans the OS of their contract clients for hidden warez and exploits. Its not perfect but more than the maker themselves do and a big improvement in OS security. Huawei doenst have this expertise in house at this time. And based on their track record wouldn't develop a serious ability here either.

  • Gavin Runeblade Jun 7, 2019 Link to comment

    I think the biggest flaw with Google's strategy is people only hearing "Huawei... risk" and not all the critical information in the middle. Too often people hear only what they want to hear. Also, tech doesn't have a good track record of influencing government via logic, hence the way net neutrality has gone.

  • Mwalife Jun 7, 2019 Link to comment

    I want Huawei to have their own OS. This over reliance on Google is not good for the business

  • Franz Fifty Jun 7, 2019 Link to comment

    Google has to play it safe with their idiotic president. But in fact they are afraid NOT because of Huawei creating a fork of Android would be less secure, but because Huawei is the BIGGEST income in Ads etc for Google! If Huawei is gone and others follow, Google can shut down their offices and go back their garage...

Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing