Home / News / World /  Saudi Deal With Huawei for Arabic-Specific AI Risks US Ire

Saudi Arabia said it would partner with Huawei Technologies Co. to develop Arabic-language recognition in artificial intelligence, potentially putting the kingdom at odds with the US, a key partner that’s pushing its allies to avoid the Chinese company.

Majid Altuwaijri, chief executive of the kingdom’s National Center for Artificial Intelligence, announced the memorandum of understanding during a virtual conference alongside Charles Yang, Huawei’s Middle East regional president.

Altuwaijri said that researchers from Saudi Arabia and Huawei would develop “state of the art products that will support humanity," focusing on artificial intelligence technology “specialized in the Arabic language."

US officials argue Huawei is a threat to security for the fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless systems beginning to be deployed around the world. Because Huawei is subject to control by China’s ruling Communist Party, it can be compelled by law to cooperate with the country’s security apparatus, and has been implicated in espionage, according to the State Department.

Huawei has denied allegations of spying, saying it would lose customers if it weren’t trustworthy. The Shenzhen-based company says it’s a private business that can’t be directed by Beijing, and that no Chinese law requires private national companies to engage in cyber-espionage.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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