Huawei broadband ban issue: Is Australia playing double standard?

Telecom Lead India: Though the Australia government
has banned Huawei from bidding for the $38 billion national broadband project,
the country is continuing to look for investments from Chinese companies
including the telecom equipment major. Is the Australian government playing a
double standard?


According to Trade Minister Craig Emerson, the Australian
government ban on Huawei working on a broadband network does not herald new
rules on Chinese investment in Australia.


The $38 billion national broadband project is one of the
largest telecom infrastructure projects in the world. If most of the countries
and operators continue to use Huawei equipments in their telecom networks,
should Australia ban a company like Huawei?


Huawei grabs #2 spot in wireless network market in Q4 2011 from
Nokia Siemens


Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei has overtaken
Nokia Siemens Networks to grab second place in the wireless equipment market in
Q4 2011. Ericsson is the market leader, with approximately $3.5 billion in
wireless network equipment sales during fourth quarter of 2011.


According to Emerson, Australia remains open to
Chinese investment. Since 2007, the current government approved all 350 foreign
investment applications from China, though conditions were placed on six of
those applications.


He said the government had acted on advice in the
national interest late last year when it told Huawei that it was barred from
bidding for the $38 billion fiber-optic network.


According to Australian media, the decision was prompted
by Australian intelligence officials who cited hacking attacks traced to China,
but the government has not made public its reasons.


No one is saying to Huawei don’t invest in Australia.
We’re just saying in the National Broadband Network, that’s a problem.
Sometimes you have to make these decisions and this doesn’t in any way reflect
on the overall relationship,” said Emerson told the National Press Club.


Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming plans to visit
Australia next week to discuss negotiations on a free trade deal that has
dragged on since 2005.


The United States and Australia announced plans in
September to include cyber security in their 61-year-old defense alliance, the
first time Washington has done that with a partner outside NATO.


U.S. intelligence probe will assist Huawei and ZTE to prove


The investigation would look into whether the expansion
of these firms in the U.S. posed a security threat. Both Huawei and ZTE can prove
themselves if the U.S. House intelligence committee gives a clean chit to them.
The result of the U.S. probe can also become a benchmark for the telecom


China’s Foreign Ministry last week responded to Huawei’s
ban by urging Australia not to discriminate against Chinese companies.


Huawei has rejected suggestions it might be a security
risk and said it has won the trust of global telecommunications companies.


We are part of solution, not problem: Huawei


Allaying concerns of Indian authorities on security
issues related to foreign telecom equipment makers, Chinese company Huawei said
it is a part of the solution and not the problem.


Baburajan K

[email protected]