Australia Blacklists China’s Huawei from Building Internet Network Due to Cyber Security Concerns
The government of Australia has blacklisted China’s Huawei from a government bid to build a high-speed Internet network out of cyber security concerns, according to a report from the Australian Financial Review.
Huawei is China’s largest supplier of networking and telecommunications equipment, as well as the second largest supplier in the world. Yet Australia’s prime minister Julia Gillard said the decision to ban the company from bidding on the government project was “prudent.” The proposed network is “the backbone of Australia’s information structure,” and therefore the government has the responsibility “to do our utmost to protect its integrity and that of the information carried on it.
“You would expect, as a government, we would make all of the prudent decisions to make sure that that infrastructure project does what we want it to do, and we’ve taken one of those decisions,” Gillard said, when asked about the Huawei decision.
Jeremy Mitchell, corporate affairs director at Huawei Australia, called the decision disappointing, but pointed out that the company does business in Australia not restricted to the Internet network.
“We are already working with all of Australia’s major operators and Huawei has invested in its Australian business for the long-term,” said Mitchell. “In fact, Huawei is building eight of the nine global NBN-style networks. Huawei partners with every major operator in Australia and 45 of the world’s top 50 operators. [...] You don’t get to that level of success unless you have customers that trust your company, your staff, and your technology.”
Compounding Huawei’s problems, Symantec dismantled its alliance with the company to develop computer network security products out of concern the relationship would prevent it from obtaining classified information from the US government regarding cyberthreats, according to the New York Times.
Huawei’s head Ren Zhengfei previously worked for Chinese security services, according to PC Pro.