Huawei Technologies Chairman John Lord once again dismissed spying concerns surrounding the company's offerings on Monday, having done so in response to allegations that the firm cannot be considered a trusted partner of Australian telecom giants seeking to deploy 5G networks. While speaking to the Federal Parliament earlier this year, Labor MP Michael Danby said Australia's future 5G infrastructure "must not be sold to these telcos," having referenced Huawei and ZTE. While ZTE is a publicly traded company whose majority stake is owned by the People's Republic of China, Huawei is an entirely private entity.
Mr. Lord on Monday said that the Shenzhen-based telecom equipment maker is owned by its employees, having reiterated the sentiment the company has been expressing for years, particularly in regards to its long history of problems with the United States government. The executive said some 80,000 of the company's 170,000 employees around the world own a stake in the tech giant, claiming not all of them do because there aren't enough shares to go around. Previous reports indicated that isn't necessarily the case and that only Huawei's Chinese workers are allowed to own the company's stock which they're forced to give up once they leave the firm, with its ownership structure thus being radically different and less transparent compared to privately owned entities in the West.
Huawei was blocked from participating in Australia's National Broadband Network project in 2012 but is now attempting to be part of the tender process meant to finalize plans for the buildouts of the country's first 5G technologies. The world's largest manufacturer from telecom equipment recently attempted expanding its smartphone business with an AT&T partnership in the U.S. but was effectively blocked from following through with it by stateside lawmakers and intelligence agencies. As part of his Monday remarks, Mr. Lord said the firm would welcome any kind of federal oversight over its equipment in Australia, having previously made the same gesture in the U.S., albeit without significant success.