Published: Fri, August 24, 2018
Industry | By Johnnie Johnson

Huawei and ZTE banned from supplying equipment to 5G networks in Australia

Huawei and ZTE banned from supplying equipment to 5G networks in Australia

In this July 4, 2018 photo, the Huawei logo is seen at a Huawei store at a shopping mall in Beijing.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Australia should drop its "discriminatory measures" and instead encourage cooperation between Australian and Chinese enterprises because it benefited Australian consumers.

Vodafone Australia is also pretty miffed at the government's decision, saying in a statement that while it agrees national security "is paramount", the sudden decision is of concern.

Despite being given the cold shoulder by the United States, and now Australia, Huawei is by many accounts leading the 5G race. Lawmakers have expressed concern that the company's technology poses a national security risk because its devices may contain features created to compromise American users.

"The involvement of vendors who are likely to be subject to extrajudicial directions from foreign governments that conflict with Australian law, may risk failure by the carrier to adequately protect a 5G network from unauthorised access or interference".

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CHINESE-owned telecommunications giant Huawei has been blocked from rolling out Australia's 5G network due to security concerns.

Chinese law requires companies to cooperate with intelligence officials.

ZTE hasn't publicly commented on the matter.

Acting Home Affairs Minister Scott Morrison and Communications Minister Mitch Fifield claim "new [network] architecture" provides ways to "circumvent traditional security controls", risking overall network integrity and customer data.

Australia's move worsens Huawei's regulatory woes across the world, with the company and ZTE having been recently blocked from supplying technology to the USA government.

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But Huawei's exclusion from the mobile network comes at a time of particularly strained relations between Australia and China, which Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had two weeks ago sought to reset with a conciliatory speech.

However, Beijing has dismissed the concerns as an "excuse" to prevent Chinese firms from winning lucrative contracts overseas.

"The security of 5G networks will have fundamental implications for all Australians, as well as the security of critical infrastructure, over the next decade", he said in a statement.

Huawei is the world's biggest producer of telecoms equipment.

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