NEW ZEALAND has become the latest country to block Huawei from supplying equipment for its 5G phone network amid "national security concerns."
Spark, the country's largest telecommunications company, said on Wednesday that government officials warned it that using 5G equipment from Chinese firm Huawei "would, if implemented, raise significant national security risks."
"While we are disappointed with this decision, we are confident that the decision will not affect our plans to launch Spark's 5G network by 1 July 2020, subject to the necessary spectrum being made available by the New Zealand Government," Spark said in a statement.
Andrew Hampton, the director general of New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), confirmed its decision in a statement, saying: "I have informed Spark that a significant network security risk was identified," said Andrew Hampton, the director general of GCSB.
In response to this latest blow, which comes just months after Australia banned Huawei from supplying 5G kit, the Chinese firm said it was "looking into the matter."
"As the GCSB has noted, this is an ongoing process," the company said in a statement. "We will actively address any concerns and work together to find a way forward."
Last week, the WSJ reported that the US government pressuring foreign allies to ditch networking equipment from Chinese firm Huawei.
As part of an "extraordinary outreach campaign", US officials have reportedly reached out to European and Asian countries where Huawei equipment is already in use, warning them about the "national security risks" posed by the Chinese firm.
As well as scaremongering about cybersecurity risks, the WSJ's sources claim Washington has been considering increasing financial aid for telecommunications development in countries that shun Chinese-made equipment.
It's also mulling subsidizing the purchase and maintenance of non-Chinese equipment by its allies, the report adds, noting that one of the government's main concerns surrounds the use of Chinese telecom equipment in countries that host US military bases, such as Italy, Japan and Germany; the latter of which has already been considering a ban on 5G equipment from Huawei. µ
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