Google ‘to suffer’ if it abandons Huawei

Google will take a hit if it severs ties with Huawei, because the Chinese smartphone maker has contributed greatly to expanding Google’s Android ecosystem, services and apps, according to Karl Song, president of Huawei’s public affairs and communication department.

Song made the remarks during a press conference with Korean journalists Thursday on the sidelines of Huawei Connect 2019 in Shanghai.

He admitted that its Google problems would be an obstacle to Huawei’s efforts to keep increasing its share in overseas smartphone markets, but noted, “Crisis could turn into an opportunity.”

Song said, “Huawei has contributed a lot to Google. If Google abandons Huawei, it will suffer damage as well. Huawei and Google have worked together well. We have mutual trust. I look forward to further cooperation.”

The comments came amid concerns that Huawei’s smartphone business will be hampered by the prolonged trade war between the U.S. and China, with Google pulling its apps and services from the Chinese company’s new smartphones.

On the same day in Munich, Huawei announced the launch of its high-end Mate 30 series equipped with four rear cameras, but without full Android support.

The Mate 30 phones do not have Google services or apps, such as Google Maps, Gmail, Chrome or the Google Play Store.

In preparation for the worst ― that Huawei is cut off from Google completely ― the Chinese tech giant unveiled its own Harmony Operating System in August, calling it “Plan B.”

But the company has faced skepticism that the system is unlikely to have competitive power outside China even if the development is successful.

Song disagreed with the skepticism, saying, “We will be able to resolve the situations with our own operating system.”

Song also expressed confidence that his company would be able to resolve 93 percent of the problems, which have been caused by the Donald Trump administration’s decision to blacklist Huawei in May, by the end of the year.

“We never stopped production after the U.S. added us to its entity list,” Song said. “We have also made an enormous investment in the fifth-generation (5G) networks business and signed about 50 contracts. We are keeping ahead of competitors.”

He said security issues surrounding Huawei products were a technical problem, but the U.S. had made it a political issue.

“The U.S. has never presented evidence when calling the security of our products into question,” he said. “We are willing to allow the U.S. to examine our software and hardware anytime it wants.”

Because the security issue has also become a controversial matter in Korea, an ally of the United States, Huawei Korea CEO Shawn Meng, who was at the press conference with Song, said the company was willing to cooperate with the Ministry of Science and ICT to verify security standards.

“Huawei products do not provide a backdoor,” Meng said. “People can test our products at any time.”

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