US Senators warn Google over doing business with Huawei

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some Republican and Democratic US lawmakers asked Google on Wednesday to reconsider its work with Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei Technologies, which they described as a security threat.

In a letter to Google chief executive Sundar Pichai, the lawmakers said Google recently decided not to renew “Project Maven,” an artificial intelligence research partnership with the US Department of Defense.

“While we regret that Google did not want to continue a long and fruitful tradition of collaboration between the military and technology companies, we are even more disappointed that Google apparently is more willing to support the Chinese Communist Party than the U.S. military,” they wrote.

The letter was signed by Republican Senators Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio, Republican Representatives Michael Conaway and Liz Cheney, and Democratic Representative Dutch Ruppersberger.

Google spokeswoman Andrea Faville said the company looked forward to responding.

“Like many US companies, we have agreements with dozens of OEMs around the world, including Huawei. We do not provide special access to Google user data as part of these agreement, and our agreements include privacy and security protections for use data,” she said in an emailed statement.

The letter was the latest in a series of efforts by members of the US Congress to target Huawei, and ZTE, another major Chinese telecommunications equipment company.

They have written bills that would bar government agencies from using the companies’ products and try to overturn President Donald Trump’s agreement to end a ban on ZTE.

Earlier this month another senator, Democrat Mark Warner, wrote to Google parent company Alphabet and other technology companies asking about any data-sharing agreements with Chinese vendors.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, additional reporting by Paresh Dave in San Francisco; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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