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Australia blocks Huawei 5G infrastructure over national security concerns

Huawei logo from a technology event.

  • Australia has banned Huawei and ZTE from supplying 5G telecoms equipment to local carriers.
  • The decision was made due to national security concerns related to the manufacturers’ potential involvement with the Chinese government.
  • Huawei called the move an “extremely disappointing result for consumers.”

The Australian government has banned Huawei and ZTE from supplying 5G network infrastructure to local carriers. The move, reported by Reuters, is said to have been made due to national security concerns.

The Australian government reportedly followed advice from security agencies on the matter, though it will no doubt come as another big blow to Huawei, which has already seen a significant deal fall through in the U.S. this year.

As well as developing smartphones and other consumer electronics products, the Chinese brand is a global telecommunications supplier. According to Financial Times, Huawei is responsible for 55 percent of the 4G market in the country, and it had been keen to supply equipment for the upcoming 5G space there.

In a statement to Financial Times, Canberra said: “The involvement of vendors who are likely to be subject to extrajudicial directions from foreign governments that conflict with Australian law, may risk failure by the carrier to adequately protect a 5G network from unauthorized access or interference.”

Huawei responded to the news with the following tweet:

5G is the next generation of mobile internet and it’s expected to open the doors to faster data transfer speeds and more connected devices than ever before. However, this also means more private data moving between devices than ever before, representing a potentially larger security threat.

Like Australia, both the U.S. and U.K. have previously raised concerns regarding how Huawei handle private user data and whether it colludes or may collude with the Chinese government. Huawei has continually refuted the claims.

Up next: What is 5G? Here’s what you need to know

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