The president of Microsoft has called on the US government to a lift a ban imposed on the tech giant which is stopping it from supplying Huawei with Windows software for the Chinese firm’s computers.
President Trump clamped down on Huawei earlier in 2019 over speculation that the company poses a threat to US security. The blacklisting also means US companies are not able to send their cutting-edge technology to Huawei.
Microsoft’s chief, Brad Smith said that he felt the United States’ security would be “undermined” were Huawei customers allowed to use Windows OS or Office apps on computers in China.
Speaking to the BBC, the attorney and technology executive said:
“Governments around the world are going to address their national security needs. But we believe it would be a mistake at the same time to try to draw some new digital iron curtain down the Pacific Ocean – I think that would hold back the United States, would hold back the democracies of the world,” Mr Smith added.
“We’re one of a number of companies that has applied with the US Commerce department so that we can continue to provide our software operating system to Huawei for devices like laptops.
“There may be some issues that require some approaches around 5G but one should ask whether that is the right approach for all of the equipment that a particular company might make,” Mr Smith continued.
Earlier in the summer, US Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross described how his department would send out licences to allow companies to get around the ban on selling tech to Huawei, so long as no threat to US national security existed.
While this would not have impacted upon Trump’s executive order implemented in May, the Commerce Department has issued no licences as of yet in spite of having received over 100 requests.
Now, Huawei is to launch the latest iteration of its Android smartphone but without some of Google’s most recognisable apps, such as Play Store, YouTube and Maps.
According to the BBC, the Chinese tech giant will introduce the new handset with the Huawei Mobile Service suite of software pre-installed, which will offer alternatives to Google’s kit.