Huawei’s War On Australia’s 5G Ban
Chinese tech giant and phone manufacturer Huawei has lashed security agencies in Australia, claiming they never discussed ‘boundaries’ or ‘requirements’ for the company to compete for 5G contracts, according to The Australian.
The telecommunications company launched a fresh offensive against Australia following Britain’s decision to approve Huawei’s partial involvement in a 5G network rollout.
Now, the company’s Australian division is attempting another shove for a local rollout and is declaring it wants to ‘know what the rules are.’
Recently elected British prime minister Boris Johnson decided to engage Huawei for a 5G network came as a defiance against pleas from the Trump administration and Australia to not engage with the controversial Chinese telecom company.
Executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Peter Jennings, criticised Johnson’s decision and said it would compromise the country’s intelligence sharing and relationship with both the US and Australia.
‘It is the most disastrous decision since Brexit and one that will do, I think, lasting damage to its alliance relationship with the US… It is frankly, on the evidence, fundamentally irrational. It will definitely compromise… intelligence sharing and not for technical reasons…’ Jennings told the publication.
After receiving advice from M15 and M16, Britain gave Huawei the green light to build ‘non-core’ sections of the 5G network with a 35 per cent limitation on the full-fibre network.
Senior executive of Huawei Australia, Jeremy Mitchell, said the company met Communications Minister Paul Fletcher last year and hoped the Morrison government would treat their proposal differently from Malcolm Turnbull, who banned Huawei just days before he was ousted from his position from a coup.
‘We met the minister last year and he made it very clear to us that the government’s 5G policy as they see it is not vendor-specific and not country-specific. And we said to him, that’s great to hear… But we want to know what the rules are, and what are the requirements to have 5G contracts in Australia and we want to meet them … But the UK decision enables a good viewpoint of what are the requirements they’ve made, what are the guidelines they’ve set in place,’ Mitchell said.
Mitchell also said Australia needed to capitalise off the benefits of China’s dominance in the technology market while still keeping their own networks secure.
Senior government sources from within the coalition took the position that Britain’s decision on Huawei would not change the government’s decision to ban them from Australia’s 5G network.
But Huawei Australia, which has extended its sponsorship of the Canberra Raiders through next year, maintained they had been a cooperative and good corporate citizen in Australia.