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Australia bans Huawei from bidding on telecoms contracts

PM hails 'prudent' move
Tue Mar 27 2012, 17:01

CHINESE NETWORKING VENDOR Huawei has been barred from bidding on Australia's national broadband network (NBN).

Australia announced that Huawei wouldn't be allowed to bid for contracts for Australia's $38bn NBN due to cyber terrorism concerns. Australia's prime minister Julia Gillard said the decision was 'prudent' as the NBN is a crucial national infrastructure project.

Gillard told reporters in Seoul, "You would expect, as a government, we would make all of the prudent decisions to make sure that that infrastructure project does what we want it to do, and we've taken one of those decisions."

Jeremy Mitchell, corporate affairs director at Huawei Australia said the firm was disappointed with the Australian government's decision but added its Australian business is not restricted to the NBN. "We are already working with all of Australia's major operators and Huawei has invested in its Australian business for the long-term," said Mitchell.

Mitchell went on the offensive by saying that the company's track-record shows firms do trust Huawei. He said, "In fact, Huawei is building eight of the nine global NBN-style networks. Huawei partners with every major operator in Australia and 45 of the world's top 50 operators. [...] You don't get to that level of success unless you have customers that trust your company, your staff, and your technology."

To compound Huawei's problems, the New York Times is reporting that Symantec will pull out of a deal it struck with the company four years ago in order to avoid being blacklisted by the US government.

Huawei has had to defend itself against repeated accusations that it is controlled by the Chinese government. The firm has not been able to bid on US telecoms contracts for some time, even though it has disclosed its board members.

Although Huawei has achieved significant market share expansion, if more countries bar it from bidding for contracts it could find its growth stagnating. µ


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