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Federal Opposition Wants Briefing On Huawei 5G Decision

The Federal Opposition has requested a briefing from the Government concerning last week’s decision to effectively ban Huawei and ZTE from participating in the construction of Australia’s 5G network.

No formal explanation was given for the decision at the time, but the general consensus among industry analysts is that it centred around concerns regarding the comploexity of security issues in 5G networks.

Huawei and ZTE weren’t named at the time, but the statement issued last week stated that any companies “likely to be subject to extra­judicial directions from a foreign government that conflict with Australian law” presented too great a risk.

The Opposition has, however made it clear that it would not oppose the decision unless the security advice is contradictory to that which the government has aluded to.

Previous Labor governments have had issues with Huawei in the past, with the Gillard Government banning it from supplying NBN equipment in 2012.

The 5G network is due to start rolling out in 2020 and Huawei is generally recognised as a leading provider of state-of-the-art telecommunications equipment, having spent $18 billion on research last year alone. Moreover, a massive 76,000 employees globally are involved in R&D, and the company already provides equipment to 45 of the world’s 50 top communications vendors.

The company also maintains that it is in fact totally independent of the Chinese Government. company 100 per cent owned by 85,000 of its 180,000 employees globally. Some 76,000 employees were engaged with R&D. It served 45 of the top 50 global telecommunications operators and last year its global revenue topped $US92bn.

Concerns about the involvement of Chinese telecommunications companies have escalated in recent years after a number of high-profile hacking cases, some of which may or may not have been attributable to the Chinese Government.

Huawei has not taken the decision lightly and the ramifications for the company’s future in the Australian market remain unclear. It currently employs over 700 people in  Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth and had invested $20 million in a National Training & Innovation Centre in Sydney.

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