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Huawei Oz Head Believes Ban Could Be Lifted

Despite being entangled in a global privacy saga, Head of Huawei Australia, John Lord believes the Chinese company may be allowed back into Australian 5G mobile networks, as it remains committed to its 4G contracts.

Lord spoke to The Australian at Mobile World Congress where Huawei unveiled its competitor to Samsung Galaxy Fold, the foldable Mate X.

“I hold great hope for Australia that as we start laying out the 5G networks, someone says we need the latest technology, we need the best player in the market,” he said.

He continued that while he foresees no “short-term change” as the politics play out, he believes that Australian telcos and their consumers will be at a disadvantage without the “leading equipment provider in the game.”

Australia was one of the first countries to ban the Chinese company from providing equipment for the nation’s 5G infrastructure over security concerns.

Huawei has now been banned from 5G networks in the US, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and more.

However, the tide is turning in Europe, with certain countries are considering going ahead with Huawei, including Germany and the UK despite push-back from the US.

The US government has made a string of allegations against Huawei and its CFO Meng Wanzhou — who now faces extradition to the US — of money laundering, IP theft, and breach of sanctions against Iran.

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei called the moved by the US government “political” and that it would not “crush” Huawei nor its operations.

In other legal battles, Huawei and Samsung asked a US court to pause proceedings in a patent infringement dispute after agreeing to settle for an undisclosed amount.

Lord believes the change in attitude in Europe could influence minds here in Australia and although 5G hype has arrived, it is unlikely to become the standard for some time.

This will lead many businesses and consumers to rely on 4G networks, which are built by Huawei.

In support of his position, Lord pointed to the $205m contract Huawei won to build and maintain a 4G communications system for Western Australia’s Public Transport Authority, a contract he says was assured to not be in threat.

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