Huawei continues to accumulate prohibitions in different countries.
New Zealand became the last country on Wednesday to block a proposal to use telecommunications equipment manufactured by the Chinese company Huawei due to national security concerns.
The telecommunications company Spark wanted to use Huawei equipment in its 5G mobile network in New Zealand, but a government security agency said the agreement would carry significant risks.
The move is part of a growing push against the participation of Chinese technology companies in security matters.
Several governments distrust Chinese technology because they fear Beijing will force companies like Huawei to help authorities gain access to industrial secrets and other confidential information .
In particular, there is concern about the risk of espionage by China , some experts allege.
Tom Uren, visiting member of the International Center for Cybernetic Policy at the Institute of Strategic Policy of Australia, said the Chinese government “clearly demonstrated the intention to steal information for many years.”
“The Chinese state has been involved in a large number of types of espionage including the cybernetic and in the theft of intellectual property,” he said.
Close ties between business and government also fueled concerns that China may try to “use state-linked companies to allow its spying operations,” Uren added.
Those concerns were exacerbated by new laws introduced last year that require Chinese organizations to collaborate in national intelligence efforts.
The combination of these laws and the history of espionage increased the perceived danger for countries to use companies like Huawei and ZTE in critical national infrastructure.
“It’s hard to argue that they do not represent a high risk,” Uren added.
5G networks are being built in several countries and this technology will form the next important wave of mobile infrastructure.
And since Huawei is the world’s largest producer of telecommunications equipment, the telecommunications firm Spark New Zealand planned to use Huawei’s technology in its 5G network.
But the New Zealand Government’s Communications Security Office (GCSB) told Spark that the proposal “if implemented, would increase significant national security risks ,” the company explained.
New Zealand Intelligence Services Minister Andrew Little said Spark can work with the agency to reduce that risk.
Huawei said: “As the GCSB has pointed out, this is a continuous process, we will address any concerns and we will work together to find the right path.”
The decision of New Zealand to block Huawei for reasons of national security is not isolated.
Australia did the same with Huawei and ZTE so that they do not provide 5G technology to the country’s wireless networks for the same reasons.
For its part, Huawei defended its independence and said it is a private company. He also offered to build an “evaluation and testing” center in which his 5G team can be reviewed by the Australian government.
Earlier this year, the United States announced restrictions for Huawei and ZTE to bid for contracts in their territory and later banned government or military officials from using Chinese companies’ phones.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that the US government tried to persuade wireless service providers to avoid using Huawei equipment.
For its part, in the United Kingdom, the government says it is still working with Huawei.
“This government and the British telecom operators are working with Huawei at home and abroad to ensure that the UK can continue to benefit from the new technology while managing cybersecurity risks,” a British government spokeswoman told the BBC.
But a security committee warned that it has “a limited guarantee” that the Chinese company’s telecommunications equipment does not pose a threat to national security.
Canada is also conducting security tests since 2013 on telecommunications equipment sold in the country by the Chinese giant Huawei.
Similarly, the firm was put under evaluation in Germany, Japan and South Korea
But there is only one country that is on Huawei’s side: Papua New Guinea.
The Pacific nation said this week it will go ahead with an agreement for Huawei to build its internet infrastructure.
The country received a significant increase in China’s investment in the last decade.
Since its founding in 1987, Huawei has become one of the leading suppliers of telecommunications equipment worldwide.
The company has about 180,000 employees and operates in 170 countries and regions, according to its website.