There’s a faction of the U.S. Congress that seems intent on killing Huawei’s business in the United States. In the latest volley, five lawmakers this week sent a letter to Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, expressing concern about Google’s relationship with Huawei because of its potential threat to U.S. national security.
The letter was signed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Congressman Mike Conway (R-Texas), Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming), and Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Maryland).
“Chinese telecommunications companies, such as Huawei, have extensive ties with the Chinese Communist Party,” states the letter. “As a result, this partnership between Google and Huawei could pose a serious risk to U.S. national security and American consumers.”
Apparently, the letter is referring to the strategic partnership Huawei and Google announced in January. The two companies said Huawei would integrate Google’s Android messages in Huawei’s Android smartphones.
The letter challenged Google’s loyalty to the United States. “We urge you to reconsider Google’s partnership with Huawei, particularly since your company recently refused to renew a key research partnership, Project Maven, with the Department of Defense. We are even more disappointed that Google apparently is more willing to support the Chinese Communist Party than the U.S. military.”
Google recently pulled out of Project Maven, an initiative to use artificial intelligence (AI) for U.S. military purposes. It left the project after protests by its own employees.
Targeting Google’s relationship with Huawei is just the latest tactic by U.S. government officials to attack Huawei’s business dealings in the country.
In February six top U.S. intelligence chiefs told the Senate Intelligence Committee that they would advise Americans to not use the products and services of Huawei and ZTE.
In addition, U.S. legislators have introduced bills in both the House and Senate that would prevent the government from buying or using telecommunications equipment from Huawei or ZTE.
And FCC Chairman Ajit Pai proposed a ban on the use of money from the FCC’s $8.5 billion Universal Service Fund to purchase equipment or services “from companies that pose a national security threat to United States communications networks.”