BUSINESS Huawei rebuts Aussie security concerns

BUSINESS

Huawei rebuts Aussie security concerns

Reuters-Global Times

16:53, June 19, 2018

Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies refuted Australian claims it poses a security risk, calling the criticism "ill-informed" in an open letter on Monday.

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Photo: VCG

Australia is likely to ban Huawei from participating in the fifth-generation (5G) mobile telecommunications roll-out in the nation as it fears the company is de facto controlled by China and sensitive infrastructure will fall into the hands of Beijing, according to Australian media reports.

Huawei denied the allegations, and, in a move that threatens to draw Australian politicians into a public spat that will further strain relations with China, dismissed Canberra's security concerns.

"Recent public commentary around China has referenced Huawei and its role in Australia and prompted some observations around security concerns," Huawei Australia Chairman John Lord and board directors John Brumby and Lance Hockridge wrote in the unprecedented letter.

"Many of these comments are ill-informed and not based on facts."

Australia has longstanding concerns about Huawei. In 2012 it banned the company from supplying its massive National Broadband Network, and in May Canberra committed millions of dollars to ensure Huawei did not build an internet cable between Australia and the Solomon Islands.

A decision on 5G would come amid a low in bilateral relations. Australia is preparing to pass laws designed to limit China's influence in domestic affairs following criticism by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull late last year that Beijing was meddling in its affairs.

Huawei said in the letter it operates in 170 countries, abiding by national laws and guidelines. Citing 5G investments in Britain, Canada and New Zealand, the company said those governments had taken up its offer to evaluate the company's technology to make sure it followed cybersecurity protocols.

The Australian government's move against Huawei could further damage its relationship with China and pose challenges for bilateral trade ties, some Chinese analysts said.

"We will not give any practical benefit to Australians just because they claimed they want to improve their relations with us but without any real action," Yu Lei, a professor with Beijing Foreign Studies University, told the Global Times on Monday.

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