Google reportedly once gave about 100 engineers from Huawei their own lab at the Googleplex HQ, hinting at deeper ties than we knew



Google's ties to Huawei — the Chinese tech giant considered a threat to US security by the Trump administration — may run deeper than previously known, according to a report by The Information on Monday. During the development of one its Nexus phones back in 2015, Google reportedly hosted nearly 100 Huawei engineers at its famed Googleplex headquarters in Silicon Valley, giving the visitors from China their own lab.According to the report, Google engineers worked side-by-side with the Huawei team to develop the display and camera for the Nexus 6b phone, among other features. Employees from the two companies became so close, the report said, that they would grab dinner and drinks together.


One Huawei engineer who worked on the project out of the Googleplex told the Information that Huawei engineers "asked a lot of questions" and "learned a lot" from their Google counterparts. And while sales for the Nexus 6b failed to meet internal goals, Huawei sources said that what they learned from working with Google helped the Chinese firm produce better phones in the future. On Monday, as a part of the same report, The Information also said that Google was working with the Chinese manufacturing giant to license its Google Assistant technology for a Huawei-branded smart speaker. Many other third-party hardware makers - including Sony, Lenovo, and Sonos - offer Google Assistant-powered speakers today. On the face of it, this reported Huawei speaker would have been a similar arrangement.

In Pics: Best companies to work for in 2019

  • Slide 1 of 29: Overall ranking: #99  Company rating: 4.2  What it does: Technology consulting  What employees say: "Bar none, THE BEST place I have ever worked." — World Wide Technology Senior Consultant (Denver, Colorado)
  • Slide 2 of 29: Overall ranking: #92 Company rating: 4.2 What it does: Travel technology  What employees say: "Expedia is the best place to work. I have been here for 11 months and enjoying every single day. The culture is upbeat, leadership is transparent, clear on direction, very well organized process oriented company. Awesome work life balance." — Expedia Software Engineering Manager (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Slide 3 of 29: Overall ranking: #87 Company rating: 4.2 What it does: Maker of laptops, PC desktops, printers, and more.  What employees say: "HP's global footprint makes it unique in allowing you to have a BIG impact. Senior leaders are quality execs who've proven their mettle. Lots of opportunity to contribute given the size of the businesses." — Anonymous HP Employee
  • Slide 4 of 29: Overall ranking: #82 Company rating: 4.2 What it does: Data storage solutions   What employees say: "Great team chemistry. Interesting work. This company cares about its employees a lot and there are numerous events at work and outside work which show this." — NetApp HPC Solutions Architect (Sunnyvale, California)
  • Slide 5 of 29: Overall ranking: #71 Company rating: 4.3 What it does: Computer hardware and software, and more.  What employees say: "The company is AMAZING. There are limitless advancement opportunities. You work with some very cool people and the leadership cares about your development. You may get coaching but you never get battered or belittled." — Apple At Home Advisor (Lakewood, Colorado)
  • Slide 6 of 29: Overall ranking: #69 Company rating: 4.3 What it does: IT, networking, and cybersecurity solutions What employees say: "Military Friendly Culture empowers and gives transitioning veterans the opportunity to learn develop self to full potential. As a Military Retiree I feel there could not have been a better company to transition to than Cisco and the leadership team is very understanding and appreciative of what we bring to the table." — Cisco Program Manager (Austin, Texas)
  • Slide 7 of 29: Overall ranking: #62 Company rating: 4.3 What it does: Payroll and HR software What employees say: "This is honestly the best job I think I’ll ever have. The benefits are amazing and the pay is more than I ever thought I could get. BE WARNED this job is hard. Never in my life have I had so much stress. That’s the reason why it pays so well. Be prepared to be stressed every day and have heavy daily work loads and have new procedures constantly thrown at you from management. But guess what it’s your job so you either adapt or you don’t make it." — Paycom Specialist (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
  • Slide 8 of 29: Overall ranking: #58 Company rating: 4.3 What it does: App performance analytics What employees say: "Great encouraging and supportive leadership. Promotional opportunities every quarter. Family atmosphere, where everyone has a genuine interest in you as an individual and employee." — AppDynamics Business Development Representative (Dallas, Texas)
  • Slide 9 of 29: Overall ranking: #51 Company rating: 4.3 What it does: Cloud infrastructure and digital workspace technology What employees say: "Lots of smart and talented coworkers who are happy to share information you will learn a lot in a short amount of time but are expected to contribute. Slackers need not apply. If you’re a slacker you won’t survive the high stress and fast pace." — VMware Technical Support (Broomfield, Colorado)
  • Slide 10 of 29: Overall ranking: #44 Company rating: 4.3 What it does: HR, payroll, recruiting, and timekeeping software What employees say: "The culture is positive. Employees are hard working and care. Leadership cares for employees and their experience. The company also cares for their customers." — Anonymous Kronos Employee (Denver, Colorado)
  • Slide 11 of 29: Overall ranking: #41 Company rating: 4.3 What it does: Education technology and online textbooks What employees say: "The leadership of the company has been jaw-droppingly motivated, visionary, and transparent. They have turned a company haunted by downturns in the market into a trendsetter that is adapting profitably. Along the way they have been committed to employee growth and job satisfaction. I am thrilled with what we are doing for learning." — Senior Cengage Systems Analyst (Rapid City, South Dakota)
  • Slide 12 of 29: Overall ranking: #40 Company rating: 4.3 What it does: Outsourced customer support What employees say: "Taskus puts their people first, they understand that their people are the ones who make their company! I have gone through many interviews with other companies and Taskus is the first one who truly shows it!" — TaskUs Digital Content Moderator (San Antonio, Texas)
  • Slide 13 of 29: Overall ranking: #38 Company rating: 4.3 What it does: Business and financial software What employees say: "Incredible company that has market dominance, yet also has so much room to grow. Management constantly preaches disruption, and its reflected in our priorities and work." — Intuit Data Scientist
  • Slide 14 of 29: Overall ranking: #36 Company rating: 4.3 What it does: Creates interactive graphics for gaming and professional markets, like healthcare What employees say: "I'll be up front and say that it has always been my dream to work here. With that in mind, I came in telling myself to look at this place as objectively as possible to not cloud my judgement. After working here for over a year, I must say, the hype is real." — Senior Nvidia Systems Engineer (Santa Clara, California)
  • Slide 15 of 29: Overall ranking: #34 Company rating: 4.4 What it does: Creates computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and more.  What employees say: "Respect for the individual, constant stressing of core cultural values of letting everyone be heard, etc. Decent work/life balance, though it's hugely dependent on the individual to enforce. Individuals are encouraged to engage with managers at any level (for example with your manager's manager's manager...). There's a general high-level of passion for the products we make." — Senior Microsoft Electrical Engineer (Redmond, Washington)
  • Slide 16 of 29: Overall ranking: #32 Company rating: 4.4 What it does: Real estate agency and platform for buying, selling, and renting a home.  What employees say: "Having recently joined Compass, all I can say about the company, its mission, and the people in it is... 'simply amazing.' Compass is a unicorn. It is that rare company that combines passion, focus, execution, vision, and has a heart and a soul." — Anonymous Compass Employee (San Francisco, California)
  • Slide 17 of 29: Overall ranking: #30 Company rating: 4.4 What it does: Software development company best known for its design and photo-editing solutions. What employees say: "Relentless commitment to customer success. This is the core of most day to day decisions and the North Star for all activity. This makes it a place to be proud to work. Incredible products. Amazing benefits and culture that draws incredibly talented individuals." — Adobe Learning Specialist (San Jose, California)
  • Slide 18 of 29: Overall ranking: #27 Company rating: 4.4 What it does: Develops enterprise software to help manage business operations and customer relations.  What employees say: "We have yoga and meditation classes, mindfulness workshops. Many invited guests from technology industries to provides you with information.
Leadership women work shops, global coaching, mentoring programs and flexible work environment.
 It is truly a top notch company that will give back to their employees."— SAP Manager (Montreal, Québec)
  • Slide 19 of 29: Overall ranking: #26 Company rating: 4.4 What it does: Software development for government agencies What employees say: "Fast, even at the 1000+ size it is, still cares deeply about each and every employee. Their benefits, even the way they help people move, the way they bring individuals AND their spouses/families into the culture, it super impressive and I love that about Fast." — Fast Enterprises Implementation Consultant (Boston, Massachusetts)
  • Slide 20 of 29: Overall ranking: #20 Company rating: 4.4 What it does: Payroll and HR software  What employees say: "Great company culture. People that really believe in what we do, and investment in technology to push the envelope." — Paylocity Account Executive (Tampa, Florida)
  • Slide 21 of 29: Overall ranking: #18 Company rating: 4.4 What it does: HR software, including payroll, benefits, and timekeeping products. What employees say: "Amazing company. It's the only payroll / HCM organization that truly cares about the customer - and while it's not easy - the organization has maintained an amazing culture all in an effort to provide the best support to the customer. I love that." — Anonymous Ultimate Software Employee
  • Slide 22 of 29: Overall ranking: #17 Company rating: 4.4 What it does: Electronic signature technology What employees say: "We're on a good path with no signs of slowing down and a lot of untapped market potential. This is great news. Because the company is growing fast, there's a lot of opportunity to grow your career and step up into new roles." — DocuSign Enterprise Corporate Sales (San Francisco, California)
  • Slide 23 of 29: Overall ranking: #16 Company rating: 4.4 What it does: Sales and marketing software What employees say: "I've been at HubSpot now for almost 4 years and there's nowhere else I've even thought about working in that time. Why? HubSpot is a great place to work. I feel like I'm valued. I have a lot of autonomy in how and when and where I work. I feel strongly about the mission of the company." — Anonymous HubSpot Employee (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
  • Slide 24 of 29: Overall ranking: #11 Company rating: 4.4 What it does: Customer-relationship management software What employees say: "Supportive and inclusive environment, clear and reasonable expectations, challenging environment, awesome corporate mission, lots of room and support for professional growth." — Salesforce Solutions Engineer (Cincinnati, Ohio)
  • Slide 25 of 29: Overall ranking: #8 Company rating: 4.4 What it does: The world's most popular search engine, which also creates cloud computing, hardware, and software products, and more.  What employees say: "If you're a software engineer, you're among the kings of the hill at Google. It's an engineer-driven company without a doubt (that *is* changing, but it's still very engineer-focused)." — Google Software Engineer (New York, New York)
  • Slide 26 of 29: Overall ranking: #7 Company rating: 4.5 What it does: The world's largest social network. What employees say: "Learning from great software engineers and/or researchers in AI. Too many political debates inside the company." — Facebook Research Scientist (New York, New York)
  • Slide 27 of 29: Overall ranking: #6 Company rating: 4.5 What it does: Social network for business professionals and recruitment tool  What employees say: "Linkedin has a very strong emphasis on employee wellness and goes the extra mile to care how employees feel and does everything to make them more productive in their daily work. Linkedin offers best quality food, continuous wellness programs, clear paths to advance careers and everything else necessary for happiness." — Anonymous LinkedIn Employee (Mountain View, California)
  • Slide 28 of 29: Overall ranking: #4 Company rating: 4.5 What it does: Construction project management software  What employees say: "From the day I started working at Procore, I've felt welcome, engaged, and energized. The work is challenging and fast-paced, but the people and culture make coming to the office something I look forward to every day. Procore truly lives its values of Ownership, Optimism, and Openness." — Anonymous Procore Employee (Carpinteria, California)
  • Slide 29 of 29: Overall ranking: #2 Company rating: 4.5 What it does: Cloud-based video conferencing technology What employees say: "Honesty, this is the best company I have ever worked for, hands down. Our CEO practices what he preaches with Delivering Happiness. Management is great, no micromanaging, and always willing to help. The sales floor is competitive, but not toxic at all. Everyone is more than happy to help each other. We realize we are all a part of something special right now, and that this should be a team effort."— Zoom Account Executive (Santa Barbara, California)
1/29 SLIDES

29. World Wide Technology

2/29 SLIDES

28. Expedia Group

3/29 SLIDES

27. HP Inc.

4/29 SLIDES

26. NetApp

5/29 SLIDES

25. Apple

6/29 SLIDES

24. Cisco Systems

7/29 SLIDES

23. Paycom

8/29 SLIDES

22. AppDynamics

9/29 SLIDES

21. VMware

10/29 SLIDES

20. Kronos Incorporated

11/29 SLIDES

19. Cengage

12/29 SLIDES

18. TaskUs

13/29 SLIDES

17. Intuit

14/29 SLIDES

16. NVIDIA

15/29 SLIDES

15. Microsoft

16/29 SLIDES

14. Compass

17/29 SLIDES

13. Adobe

18/29 SLIDES

12. SAP

19/29 SLIDES

11. Fast Enterprises

20/29 SLIDES

10. Paylocity

21/29 SLIDES

9. Ultimate Software

22/29 SLIDES

8. DocuSign

23/29 SLIDES

7. HubSpot

24/29 SLIDES

6. Salesforce

25/29 SLIDES

5. Google

26/29 SLIDES

4. Facebook

27/29 SLIDES

3. LinkedIn

28/29 SLIDES

2. Procore Technologies

29/29 SLIDES

1. Zoom Video Communications

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(Slideshow by Business Insider)That licensing deal fell through in May when President Trump blacklisted Huawei, effectively halting sales between the tech giant and US firms, the report said. Neither Google nor Huawei immediately responded to Business Insider's request for comment.

Google's relationship with China under the microscope

At the time, the most urgent question facing Huawei was what the world's largest smartphone manufacturer would do in terms of its device's operating systems, which had been powered by Google's Android OS. With Trump's trade ban in place, it seemed, Huawei would need to develop its own, in-house OS. Also watch: Major Breakthrough in US-China talks unlikelyReplay Video

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(Video provided by Bloomberg)Meanwhile, business leaders around the world have asked the Trump administration to reconsider the Huawei ban. Last week, Trump met with the leaders of top US tech companies - including Google - during which the president reportedly agreed to "timely" decisions as to whether trade with Huawei could resume. Last year, Google was widely criticized for Project Dragonfly, its nascent plans for building a censored search engine for China a project Google recently confirmed that it had terminated.

However, more recently, President Trump revived concerns, tweeting that Google's relationship with the Chinese government "may or may not" pose national security threats. Google declined to comment on Trump's tweet at the time.

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