Update, August 24, 2018 (05:41 AM ET): Huawei has issued a comprehensive response after the Australian government barred the company from supplying 5G infrastructure. The government’s decision was reportedly made due to national security concerns, but the Chinese brand claims otherwise.
“The Australian government’s decision to block Huawei from Australia’s 5G market is politically motivated, not the result of a fact-based, transparent, or equitable decision-making process,” the brand’s Australian arm noted in a statement (h/t: ZDNet), adding that the government hasn’t mentioned any specific concerns.
The brand said Australia’s actions “undermine the principles of competition and non-discrimination in fair trade.”
Huawei also sought to defend its 5G efforts, saying it was one of the key developers behind the technology.
“Innovation works because innovators are rewarded for their work, but the government has effectively denied Huawei a right to compete for a return on our investment,” it charged.
Furthermore, the company denied it had been approached by governments to engage in intelligence work.
Original article, August 23, 2018: The Australian government has banned Huawei and ZTE from supplying 5G network infrastructure to local carriers. The move, reported by Reuters, is said to have been made due to national security concerns.
The Australian government reportedly followed advice from security agencies on the matter, though it will no doubt come as another big blow to Huawei, which has already seen a significant deal fall through in the U.S. this year.
As well as developing smartphones and other consumer electronics products, the Chinese brand is a global telecommunications supplier. According to Financial Times, Huawei is responsible for 55 percent of the 4G market in the country, and it had been keen to supply equipment for the upcoming 5G space there.
In a statement to Financial Times, Canberra said: “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 unauthorized access or interference.”
Huawei responded to the news with the following tweet:
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
5G is the next generation of mobile internet and it’s expected to open the doors to faster data transfer speeds and more connected devices than ever before. However, this also means more private data moving between devices than ever before, representing a potentially larger security threat.
Like Australia, both the U.S. and U.K. have previously raised concerns regarding how Huawei handle private user data and whether it colludes or may collude with the Chinese government. Huawei has continually refuted the claims.