‘Australia’s last chance’: Huawei pleads for lift in 5G ban as UK dithers

Australia

The submission notes that countries in Europe and Asia have “near nationwide 5G coverage already in place”, while the “vast percentage of even our major cities do not have 5G coverage.”

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Huawei was banned from supplying equipment to Australia’s 5G mobile networks in 2018 by the federal government on security grounds.

While the inquiry will not specifically address these concerns, the company suggests they are a key factor preventing Australia “deploying the world’s best 5G”.

The company notes: “If the potential influence of the Chinese Government is the reason for blocking Huawei from Australia’s 5G build, then such a ban should be considered for our competitors [Nokia and Ericsson].”

“With or without Huawei, Australia’s 5G technology will be made in China in factories half-owned by the Chinese government.”

The company also said it builds its technology with a strong emphasis on cybersecurity.

“It would be the end of our $USD100 billion business to do otherwise,” the submission reads.

“We build our technology assuming someone, somewhere will want to do bad things to our products, organised crime, terrorists, state actors, local hackers etc,” the submission reads.

In September, Huawei Australia chairman John Lord criticised the Morrison government for “mischievously” overplaying security concerns involving the company and warned that a loss of trust between Australia and China could impact business productivity.

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Meanwhile a decision on whether Huawei will be allowed to supply equipment for Britain’s 5G network has been delayed as political chaos in the country continues.

The decision is not expected until the new year, almost nine months after the government’s response was originally due.

Some of Britain’s mobile suppliers have already begun using Huawei equipment in their 5G networks because of the government dithering on the issue.

Dr Andrew Foxall, Director of Research at the Henry Jackson Society, told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age the British government had placed the decision firmly in the “too difficult box”.

“It is not a difficult question, the Government can either stand with its Five Eyes allies or gamble on the good nature of an enterprise seemingly at the service of the Chinese State. It ought to be obvious,” Dr Foxall said.

Laura is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Latika Bourke is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, based in London.

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