Chinese telecom giant Huawei has equated the decision of New Zealand to leave it out of the process of construction of its 5G mobile network to the All Blacks being left out of a rugby tournament. This was communicated by the Chinese firm, the largest telecommunications equipment maker in the world, through full-page ads in major New Zealand newspapers.
The advertisement read: “5G without Huawei is like rugby without New Zealand”.
Following a warning about the use of Huawei equipment posing a significant threat to national security by the spy agency the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) of New Zealand, authorities in the country have asked National telco Spark to temporarily not use Huawei equipment in the rollout of the 5G technology.
Consumers could not get the latest technology and end up paying more, claimed that advertisements which was published in newspapers owned by Stuff and the New Zealand Herald.
Concerns of the alleged relationships of the company with the Chinese government and its security and intelligence services have been raised by many governments in the West. The chief financial officer of the company, Meng Wanzhou, is currently under house arrest in Canada and is facing a case for extradition to the US over alleged violation of Iran sanctions by the US. The US, Australia, Japan, the UK, India, Germany and Italy are among the countries that have raised concerns or implemented bans on the use of Huawei’s 5G technology and equipment.
Huawei was not banned from operating in New Zealand, said Andrew Little, the minister responsible for the GCSB. The issue was essentially between Huawei and Spark, he added. Little said that Spark was taking more time to collate information and advice about the company. He however added that the final say would be that of the minister.
According to experts, Huawei has attempted to invoke the national sport – and religion – rugby in order to appeal to the average New Zealander through its advertising campaign. The Chinese firm has also attempted to seek an understanding from the New Zealand government about the reasons why it was kept away from the 5G rollout. The advertising campaign however signifies a big enhancement in its efforts to appeal to the government the people in the country even as there is some strain in the relations between China and New Zealand.
There has been a sense of unwillingness among the New Zealand government to engage in a dialogue, said Andrew Bowater, Huawei New Zealand’s deputy managing director. He added that the company deserved an explanation.
“There has been no evidence of wrongdoing by Huawei presented and we strongly reject the notion that our business threatens New Zealand in any way. We deserve the opportunity to have our voice heard and to address any concerns in good faith,” Bowater said.
The relationship between New Zealand and China was “complex”, Ardern said, and added that there were challenges. But the relationship was still “incredibly important”.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)