Huawei, ZTE Being Mulled To Be Barred From Public Procurement By Japan: Report

Chinese telecommunications firms Huawei and ZTE is planned to be blocked from bidding on public contracts for building information systems by the Japanese authorities according to reports over security concerns.

According to a report published in the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun, the Japanese government is concerned about security of confidential information and cyberattacks and therefore is mulling the measure. The report said that another aim is to align itself with the United States and Australia – both of which has recently imposed restrictions on the two Chinese companies over national security concerns.

Concrete measures are already being discussed by the Japanese government according to the report and such measures include imposition of a strict set of standards for companies which have to be fulfilled by them in order to be able to qualify for bidding in the public procurement for information systems.

The report based on unnamed sources within the Japanese government, claimed that the government is of the opinion that such measures was necessary to be adopted and the private sector too should be included in the regulation for exclusion from public procurement. However, there were also concerns that the measures could jeopardize the soon to be held China visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and possibly be against the rule of the World Trade Organization.

The Japanese government is yet to confirm the news report and no other Japanese media has yet published any rep[ort on the issue.

On the other hand, the Chinese state run media Global Times published a report on the issue and quoted a Chinese expert who questioned the authenticity of the original report and reportedly said that it would be against common sense for Japan to ban Huawei and ZTE and that it would also be detrimental to the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

There has been scrutiny of the two Chinese telecom companies abroad primarily due to their suspected closeness with the Chinese government and military.

Huawei and ZTE have been banned by Australia last week in bidding for setting up of 5G technology for wireless networks in the country and the reason cited by the government was that their participation posed national threat for the country. An din the US, the two Chinese companies have been banned by regulation signed earlier in the month by President Donald Trump which does not allow the government or its contractors from using the technologies and services of these two companies.

Australia’s decision has been called by the largest manufacturer of telecommunication equipment in the world – Huawei, as being “politically motivated” and described the US federal ban as a “random addition” to the defence bill that was “ineffective, misguided, and unconstitutional”.

(Adapted from GBTimes.com)

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