New Zealand has prevented one of its largest telecom operators from using Huawei's 5G telecom equipment due to national security concerns, a growing worrying sign of the company's alleged links with China. the Chinese government.
This decision is a blow to the world's largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer, which is a leader in next generation mobile technology but has not been licensed to provide such equipment in Australia and the United States. United States for similar reasons.
Spark New Zealand's proposal to use Huawei's 5G technology was rejected after the country's intelligence agency announced that it would pose "significant risks to national security," the company said on Wednesday.
"The general manager informed Spark today that he felt that Spark's proposal to use Huawei 5G equipment in Spark's planned 5G radio access network would generate, if it were to implementation, significant risks to national security, "said the company.
Spark said it was disappointed with the decision and had not yet considered the detailed reasoning behind this decision. But the company added that it was convinced not to delay the planned launch of a 5G network by the telecommunications operator before July 1, 2020.
The United States is stepping up pressure on its partners in the Five Eyes intelligence and security network – a group that includes Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom – to block Huawei and ZTE, a other Chinese telecom group, 5G networks.
In August, Canberra prevented both operators from participating in the deployment of 5G for national security reasons, arguing that the technology presented new security challenges as it circumvented traditional security controls. The UK warned telecom operators early this month to consider their providers when deploying 5G, in comments interpreted as targeting Huawei.
Huawei said he is aware of Spark's statement and is investigating the situation.
"As noted by the GCSB (New Zealand Intelligence Agency), this is an ongoing process. We will actively respond to all your concerns and work together to find a solution, "said Huawei.
Under New Zealand law, Spark may seek to collaborate with Huawei and the intelligence services to mitigate risks to national security. The decision of the Minister of Justice of New Zealand on any proposal to use Huawei material would then be taken.
According to analysts, the efforts against Huawei and ZTE are part of a new technological war pitting the Western powers against China, in which democratic countries would more carefully assess the suppliers of equipment in order to to ensure that the groups do not undermine national security.
"The decision made by New Zealand is a big deal and indicates that the Five Eyes nations are adopting Australia's tough approach towards Huawei," said Fergus Hanson, cybersecurity expert at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. -tank.