Australia bans Huawei from 5G network roll out

Canberra cites risks of Chinese government interference and hacking for its decision

Huawei has vigorously denied it is controlled by Beijing.
Huawei has vigorously denied it is controlled by Beijing.

Huawei Technologies has been banned from participating in Australia’s planned 5G roll out, Reuters has reported.

The Australian government said it came to the decision following advice from security agencies, citing risks of Chinese government interference and hacking.

Huawei is thus barred from supplying 5G equipment to the country’s mobile operators, cutting off another potentially lucrative market for the Chinese tech giant after being similarly barred from the US market.  

Chinese law requires organisations and citizens to support, assist and cooperate with intelligence work, which some governments worry could make Huawei’s equipment a conduit for espionage.

Huawei’s Australian arm, which strenuously denies it is controlled by Beijing, said on Twitter on Thursday that the action was an “extremely disappointing result for consumers”.

The government said in an emailed statement to Reuters that national security regulations typically 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,” the statement said.

Australia had previously banned Huawei, the world’s largest maker of telecommunications network gear, from providing equipment for its fibre-optic network and moved to block it from laying submarine cables in the Pacific.

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