The Chinese company's announcement came on the day that the Australian government put out a press release detailing its efforts in improving the security of its upcoming and soon-to-be-built 5G communications network. Lawmakers have expressed concern that the company's technology poses a national security risk because its devices may contain features created to compromise American users.
Vodafone Australia, which tried out 5G equipment with Huawei, criticised the latest decision to ban Huawei from local 5G networks, with its chief strategy officer Dan Lloyd saying Vodafone has always said that national security is paramount, and the company always has and always will meet the obligations under Australian law.
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In July, Reuters reported that Australia was preparing to ban Huawei Technologies from supplying equipment for its planned 5G broadband network after its intelligence agencies raised concerns that Beijing could force the Chinese telco to hand over sensitive data, two sources said.
Canberra said in a statement that the "involvement of vendors who are likely to be subject to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government that conflict with Australian law" posed a security risk.
The decision also affects ZTE Corp, a Chinese telecommunications equipment company that makes mobile devices sold in Australia through Telstra, Optus and others. Huawei and ZTE did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Huawei's Australia operation later put out a statement making clear it wouldn't be able to compete as carriers prepare to spend billions on the new technology.
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"The government's Telecommunications Sector Security Reforms, which commence on 18 September, place obligations on telecommunications companies to protect Australian networks from unauthorised interference or access that might prejudice our national security", Morrison said.
In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China expressed "serious concern", adding that Australia should not "use various excuses to artificially erect barriers".
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