New Zealand has blocked one of its largest telecom operators from using Huawei's 5G telecom equipment due to national security…
New Zealand has blocked one of its largest telecom operators from using Huawei’s 5G telecom equipment due to national security concerns, the latest sign of concern about the company’s alleged links to the Chinese government.
The decision is a blow to the world’s largest telecom equipment manufacturer, leading in next generation mobile technology, but has already been blocked from delivering such equipment in Australia and the United States for similar reasons.
Spark New Zealand’s proposal to use Huawei’s 5G technology was denied after the country’s intelligence service said it would give rise to “significant national security risks,” the company said Wednesday.
“The Director General has informed Spark today that he believes that Spark’s proposal to use Huawei 5G equipment in Spark’s planned 5G radio network would, if implemented, bring about significant national security risks,” said the company.
Spark said that it was disappointed with the decision and had not yet examined the detailed reasoning behind it. But the company added that it was convinced that it would not delay the telecom operator’s planned launch of a 5G network before July 1
The US is accelerating its partners in the Five Eyes Intelligence and Security Network – a group that includes Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Britain – blocking Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese telecom group, from 5G networks.
In August, Canberra blocked both operators from participating in the 5G rollout at the national security site, saying that Technology presented new security challenges, as it provided a way to circumvent traditional security controls. The UK warned telecom operators earlier this month to carefully consider their suppliers when they rolled out 5G, in comments that were interpreted as targeting Huawei.
Huawei said that he was aware of Sparks’s statement and investigated the situation.
“As GCSB (New Zealand Intelligence Agency) noted, this is an ongoing process. We will actively address some concerns and work together to find a way forward,” Huawei says.
According to the New Zealand Act Spark could try to work with both Huawei and intelligence to alleviate all risks to national security. A final decision on any proposal to use Huawei equipment would then be made by New Zealand’s justice minister.
Analysts said the efforts against Huawei and ZTE was part of an emerging technical war between Western forces and China, where democratic countries would carefully evaluate equipment providers to ensure that the groups did not affect national security.
“New Zealand’s decision is a big deal and is a signal of that the five eyes move toward taking the difficult approach that Australia receives Huawei ” , says Fergus Hanson, a cybersecurity expert at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a tank tank.