Australian Government has banned Chinese telecoms firm Huawei Technologies from supplying equipment for a 5G mobile network as it is citing the risk of foreign interference and hacking. However, Beijing dismissed saying it as an“excuse” to tilt the playing field against a Chinese firm.
We have been informed by the Govt that Huawei & ZTE have been banned from providing 5G technology to Australia. This is a extremely disappointing result for consumers. Huawei is a world leader in 5G. Has safely & securely delivered wireless technology in Aust for close to 15 yrs
— Huawei Australia (@HuaweiOZ) August 22, 2018
This move comes following the advice from security agencies, signaling the stance toward its biggest trading partner as relations have soured over Canberra’s allegations of Chinese meddling in Australian politics. This move also brings Australia in line with the United States, which has restricted Huawei and ZTE Corp.
Furthermore, the government in an emailed statement said that national security regulations that are usually applied to telecom carriers would now be extended to equipment suppliers. Firms “who are likely to be subject to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government would leave the nation’s network vulnerable to unauthorized access or interference, and presented a security risk.” While the statement didn’t mention Huawei directly, an Australian government official said the order was aimed at Huawei and precluded its involvement in the network.
Huawei’s Australian division on the other denied that it is being controlled by Beijing, and opined that the action to be “extremely disappointing for consumers”. The foreign ministry and commerce ministry in Beijing said that China is concerned with Australia’s decision and that Australia shouldn’t use the excuse of national security to erect barriers. Going back in time, Australia had previously banned Huawei from providing equipment for its fiber-optic network and blocked it from laying submarine cables in the Pacific.
Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang in a statement said:
We urge the Australian government to abandon ideological prejudices and provide a fair competitive environment for Chinese companies’ operations in Australia.