US lawmakers ask Google to explain relationship with Huawei

San Francisco, Aug 8 (IANS) Three US senators have written to the Google CEO Sundar Pichai demanding answers about the companys relationship with Chinas Huawei.

The letter, sent on Wednesday, follows reports that Google and Huawei were collaborating on a smart speaker and are "even closer than previously understood."

"These devices can enable untrustworthy companies to listen in on Americans' conversations. Your attempts three weeks ago to downplay your involvement in China, plus new revelations about your close relationship with Huawei, raise serious questions. . .," the Senators wrote, expressing concern that smart speakers double as listening devices.

"[I]t is hard to interpret your decision to help Huawei place listening devices into millions of American homes as anything other than putting profits before country," said the letter.

According to a report in The Information last month, Google and Huawei were collaborating on a new product.

But the two companies reportedly suspended the project after the Donald Trump administration in the US placed trade restrictions on Huawei in May.

"The reports about this project state that you "suspended" the project because Huawei was placed on a trade blacklist. Do you plan to resume helping Huawei install listening devices into American homes if the blacklist is lifted?" the Senators asked.

The Senators asked Pichai to answer the questions by August 30.

--IANS

gb/bc

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