Australia has banned Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. from taking part in the country’s 5G wireless technology development efforts over national security concerns. Security agencies remain skeptical about connections between Huawei and the Chinese government and believe they might not be able to prevent their 5G network from being tampered with. Australia had previously banned Huawei from a project related to its broadband network.
Telecom companies and equipment suppliers will now be subject to new regulations in Australia. ZTE was also banned from being involved in the 5G project. Huawei and ZTE have both disputed claims of security risks related to their products and services. The Chinese government is unhappy with Australia’s decision and asked the nation to drop prejudices and pave the way for fair competition.
Apart from Australia, Huawei and ZTE have been probed in other countries such as the US and UK on grounds of risk to national security
Apart from Australia, Huawei and ZTE have been probed in other countries such as the US and UK on grounds of risk to national security. There have been reports of Chinese firms facing scrutiny due to their associations with the Chinese government. In the US, the Trump administration has raised concerns over the involvement of Chinese firms in intellectual property theft and has blocked deals that involved Chinese companies.
ZTE was banned by the US government earlier this year from doing business with American companies. The prohibition, handed out for violation of trade sanctions, crippled the company’s operations and was reversed only after the company agreed to hefty penalties.
Last month, a government panel in the UK raised national security concerns due to flaws in Huawei’s engineering that could put the country’s telecom networks under risk. Prior to this, concerns over Huawei were raised in Canada where officials asked the government to monitor the company’s operations in a manner similar to the US. In Europe too, there are said to be apprehensions in general about Chinese companies and their ties to the government of China.