The government of Australia is set to stop Huawei's efforts to participate in the country's 5G project over national security concerns, Reuters reports, citing two insiders close to Canberra. The development comes several months after top U.S. officials pressured Australia to scrap the idea of using the Chinese company's telecom equipment in the future, claiming its close ties to Beijing make it a security risk. While those warnings are likely to have contributed to the government's ultimate decision on the matter, the tipping point came in the form of reports from several Australian intelligence agencies which largely repeated Washington's talking points, stating that even if Huawei was never used as a spying tool by the Communist Party of China, there are little reasons to believe it couldn't be forced to become one in the future, as per the same source.
“It is a Chinese company, and under Communist law, they have to work for their intelligence agencies if requested,” one insider said, pointing to the existence of political committees at Huawei as evidence that adds further credence to those concerns as not many major companies on the planet have such divisions. The decision itself has yet to be made official by Canberra, though Huawei is expected to once again promptly dismiss national security allegations if they end up being raised against its business in the near future. The firm repeatedly argued it's owned by its employees and isn't any more prone to government interference than American enterprises are likely to be used by Washington but those arguments were never accepted by the West.
Huawei is now turning its focus to Europe where it recently announced new investments in Portugal, France, and the United Kingdom. The company continues pushing forward on its quest to become the world's largest smartphone vendor, having already seized the title of the biggest telecom equipment manufacturer on the planet several years back. Australia is set to kick off large-scale 5G deployment efforts in the first half of 2019.