As the UK welcomes the Chinese with open arms, will OZ do likewise?
However, its case of “wait and see’ in Australia, says Brent Hooley, spokesperson for Huawei Australia, referring to the ban Labor government imposed on the company working on the NBN, after fears emerged about links with the Chinese government and espionage concerns.
The US government also imposed a similar ban. This week, Huawei UK announcing a live trial of G.FAST technology in partnership with BT, that allow carriers to make more efficient use of their resources, and implement ultrafast broadband strategies in short or medium term. It is also working with UK government on ICT rollout.
The Chinese telecom are “delighted” with the support from the British government, but have not yet held talks with the new Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Hooley told CN.
“We don’t know what’s happening, but will continue to get on with business in Australia”.
“We have no expectations” he added.
Mr Turnbull, for his part, has indicated the new Liberal government may change its stance on Huawei working on the massive fibre broadband rollout, and could lift the ban in the future.
Turnbull’s major bugbear appears to be about the equipment Huawei provides and its capacity to be used as an espionage tool.
This week he told BRW:
“Even if you accept the premise that Huawei would be an accessory to espionage – I’m not saying they will be, I’m just saying that’s the premise – if you accept that, you then have to ask yourself, does the equipment that they would propose to sell have that capacity?”
“Historically, people from a security point of view, have been much more concerned about equipment and systems at the centre of the network; that control the whole network, and less concerned about equipment at the edge of the network. That is why nobody seems to mind that there are . millions of mobile handsets made either by Huawei or ZTE, which is the other big Chinese telco equipment manufacturer, which actually is state-owned.”
The new Comms minister met with Hauwei senior execs while in Opposition.
Hooley also says the telecom giant are “tackling security issues on a global scale, working with governments and security agencies globally. ”
Just last week, it released a White Paper on Cyber Security, calling for the creation of common international cyber security standards, in Seoul.
Last week, UK Chancellor George Osborne sung the Chinese telecoms giant’s praises in a speech to Peking University, saying: “There are some Western governments that have blocked Huawei from making investments. Not Britain. Quite the opposite. That is why I was pleased to welcome Huawei’s opening of a flagship office in our country in June, and of 1.3bn of investment that came with it.”
Hauwei has always denied any links with the Chinese government. Its CEO worked for the Chinese government “30 years ago or more,” Hooley says.
He also pointed out Hauwei are working on 8 of the 9 NBN’s type fibre rollout globally including NZ, Singapore, Malaysia.
But, he said, “we accept the government decision, whatever happens”, and will get on with business in Australia, which it has sought to ramp up via a procurement program to add Aussie companies to its global supply chain.
Locally, it supplies all major telcos with equipment including Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, iiNet, and is also ramping up its consumer offering with new tablets, smartphones.
50% of Australians
already use some sort of Huawei product for their telecommunications needs, according to the company.