The U.S. government is trying to persuade wireless and internet providers in allied countries to avoid telecommunications equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies.
The moves comes in the wake of calls from Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi for a royal commission into Chinese Communist Government influence in Australia.
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Earlier this year Mike Burgess, the director-general of the Australian Signals Directorate, said Huawei would not be allowed to help build Australia’s new 5G mobile network because of potential threats to the network in “high-risk vendor equipment” could undermine the entire project.
The Wall Street Journal reports, pressure is mounting on the world’s biggest telecom gear maker, which is under scrutiny from Western intelligence agencies for its perceived ties to China’s government and the possibility its equipment could be used for espionage.
U.S. officials have reached out to their government counterparts and telecom executives in friendly countries where Huawei equipment is already in wide use about what they see as cybersecurity risks, according to the WSJ report, which cited unnamed people familiar with the situation.
The United States has already largely barred Huawei from supplying its government and contractors, while Australia has banned the company from supplying equipment for a 5G mobile network.
Huawei, which has repeatedly denied engaging in intelligence work for any government, is one of several Chinese tech companies that have come under U.S. government scrutiny as a trade war between the two countries escalates.
Senator Bernardi has told Kel Richards on Sydney radio station 2CH it's vital that Chinese interference in Australia is called out.
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