Australia bans Chinese electronic firm Huawei

China’s Huawei Technologies will not be allowed to participate in developing Australia’s Internet., April 4, 2012

The Chinese electronic equipment manufacturer Huawei has been banned by the Australian government from any involvement in developing that nation’s Internet network due to cyber security concerns. The Australian government announced the decision Monday.

Huawei Technologies, Inc. is based in Shenzhen, China. It is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of wireless, microelectronic and telecommunications products with annual sales exceeding $30 billion. It has penetrated the world’s major IT markets and employed more than 110,000 workers in 2010.

Huawei formed a joint venture with leading U.S. Internet security firm Symantec in 2008. Security and copyright issues forced Symantec to pull out of the deal, and Huawei bought what was left of the joint venture in November 2011 for $530 million.

Huawei has been notorious for breaching intellectual property issues in other countries. In 2003, Cisco Systems sued Huawei for stealing its corporate secrets. In 2004, a Huawei employee was arrested in Chicago for snooping competitors’ trade secrets at a trade show. In 2008 and in 2010, Motorola sued Huawei for systematically stealing its trade secrets.

The overwhelming majority of hacking incidents in the West have been traced to China, with Huawei being the main suspect. In March 2011, the U.S. government blocked Huawei’s attempt to buy assets belonging to server manufacturer 3Leaf over security concerns. A month later, the British government refused to let Huawei participate in developing London’s subway cellphone system.

The U.S. government has intelligence linking Huawei with the Chinese intelligence organizations. In November 2011, The Washington Times reported that the CIA-based Open Source Center “for the first time links China’s largest telecommunications company to Beijing’s KGB-like intelligence service and says the company recently received nearly a quarter-billion dollars from the Chinese government.”

Huawei was founded by a soldier from the People’s Liberation Army, and is said to retain links with China’s security services. Huawei has denied any such links.


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