The Australian government banned two telecommunications giants on Tuesday from developing a new generation of wireless technology in the country for their alleged ties to the Chinese government.
The two telecoms companies, Huawei and ZTE, have denied their ties to the Chinese government, but the U.S. has previously placed restrictions and even bans on them for potential national security risks, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported on May 3.
A law in China states that all Chinese organizations and citizens must provide information to national intelligence agencies, Quartz reported in June 2017.
Australia is set to roll out the new generation of wireless technology, known as 5G, in 2019 — the same year Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, are expected to launch their 5G networks, CNET reported. AT&T said it’ll bring 5G to three cities in 2018.
Huawei’s official Australian Twitter account announced the Australian government’s decision on the social media platform Wednesday evening.
“We have been informed by the [government] that Huawei [and] ZTE have been banned from providing 5G technology to Australia. This is a extremely disappointing result for consumers. Huawei is a world leader in 5G. Has safely [and] securely delivered wireless technology in [Australia] for close to 15 [years],” Huawei wrote.
“Both Huawei and ZTE must report to a Communist Party cell at the top of their organizations,” Australian Parliament Member Michael Danby told parliament in early June.
Danby and other members of the Australian parliament cited the U.S. ban on Huawei and ZTE products on military bases for security reasons as evidence they should follow suit.
“Recent public commentary around China has referenced Huawei and its role in Australia and prompted some observations around security concerns,” Huawei responded in June. “Many of these comments are ill-informed and not based on facts.”
Huawei Australia Chairman John Lord denied China has any control over the company.
“There is no ownership [of Huawei] by the [Chinese] government whatsoever — we would term our form of ownership a cooperative in western societies,” Lord said in early June.
Indeed, Huawei and ZTE are leaders in 5G. China is beating the U.S. in 5G development, posing economic risks that could last for decades. (RELATED: China Has Built 10X More 5G Cell Towers Than The US)
A report by Deloitte Consulting reveals how China is outspending and out-building the U.S. in 5G development, leading the way towards an “era of untapped economic potential.”
“The potential negative consequences of a protracted 5G deployment could take decades to overcome,” the report notes. “The United States led the world in 4G and in the process created thousands of jobs. We simply cannot afford to lose the race to 5G.”
“5G technology will influence everything we do. Instead of just connecting people to people through their smartphones, 5G connects an unlimited number of things to other things, which can communicate all day, every day,” the report added.
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