Monday, 06 July 2020 14:18

Huawei slams Macquarie call for operators to ‘remove’ Chinese equipment Featured

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Macquarie Telecom Group executive Luke Clifton under fire from Huawei Australia Macquarie Telecom Group executive Luke Clifton under fire from Huawei Australia

Huawei Australia has lashed out at Macquarie Telecom group executive Luke Clifton for calling on Australian telecom network operators to follow Macquarie’s example and remove all Chinese made equipment from their networks.

Huawei cited the offending comments by Clifton in which he said, “We made the decision across the Macquarie Telecom Group to strip all Chinese equipment from our business. We now have zero Chinese infrastructure in our network. Will other telcos do the right thing by Australia and follow our lead?”

Jeremy Mitchell, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Huawei Australia issued a statement on Monday in response to the comments made by Clifton “in calling for Australian telecom network operators to remove all Chinese manufactured equipment from their networks”.

“As the entire industry is well aware securing telecom networks against Cyber-Security threats is critical to deliver a safe and secure environment for those that rely on our technology and networks,” Huawei said.

“That being the case to see a company use this critical issue to try and gain commercial advantage is extremely regrettable.”

Huawei also noted that as has been acknowledged by the European Union and two separate UK Parliamentary Committees, “simply banning technology from companies because of their flag of origin is completely ineffective as it does not take into account the complex nature of global supply chains.”

“If Telstra were forced to follow through on Macquarie Telecom’s advice and ‘do the right thing’ by removing all Chinese manufactured networking equipment then it would have to remove all of its 4G and 5G network equipment manufactured by Ericsson in China with its local state-owned joint-venture partner, Panda Electronics,” Huawei said.

“In the same vein, both Optus and TPG/Vodafone would also have to remove all of their 4G and 5G kit from Nokia that was manufactured in China from the Nokia Shanghai Bell joint-venture.

“In addition, NBN Co would also have to strip out its 4G Fixed Wireless equipment made by Ericsson and any fixed-line network equipment made in China by Nokia, ADTRAN or Casa Systems.”

“Where exactly would that leave the Australian telecoms industry and the millions that rely on its services?”, questions Huawei.

“In addition, can Macquarie Telecom be so sure it doesn’t use network equipment that is manufactured in China? Not just European vendors manufacture in China, even US companies such as Cisco and many more have substantial manufacturing facilities in China and then export that equipment globally, including to Australia.

“On one point we can agree, we support the call for the establishment of a government-based certification program, although not for the means of establishing whether or not it was made in China as we already know that the vast majority of Australia’s network equipment is being made there.

“We do however support a government-run certification program for all network equipment providers to demonstrate that their kit meets established Cyber-Security standards before it is allowed to be deployed onto Australian networks - we have been calling for such an approach for many years,” Huawe’s statement concluded.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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