Following a ban in the US and Australia, Huawei is presently blacklisted by the New Zealand Government over certain network security issues. New Zealand’s Intelligence Bureau has reportedly stated that the Huwaei’s 5G infrastructure poses a significant network security risk. Therefore, Spark, one of the top 3 telecom service providers in the country has been advised to drop its decision to partner-up with Huawei.
The business relations between New Zealand and China are likely to be strained by this move; in the past, the two countries had signed a Free Trade Policy in 2008 and embarked upon a healthy commercial alliance.
Geng Shuang, Spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry said
“We hope New Zealand will provide a level playing field for Chinese enterprises’ operation there and do something conducive for mutual trust and cooperation.”
The 5Eyes Alliance
New Zealand is a part of the 5Eyes Alliance, which is a strategic alliance between the Five Nations. Besides New Zealand, the alliance includes the US, UK, Australia, and Canada. This treaty finds its roots in the post World War 2 periods.
During mid-August, 2018, the US Government made headlines for banning the use of Huawei and ZTE by the Government sector. To give effect to the same, necessary amendments were made to the Defense Authorization Bill.
The US Intelligence had cited concerns pertaining to the possibilities of espionage and had refrained the Government authorities and employees from using Huawei for security purposes. Thereafter, Huawei was not permitted to bid on any of the Government projects in the US.
The move made by the US was followed by Australia banning Huawei from operating there, despite its 15 year business relationship there. Finally, New Zealand has followed the suit, while reaction from Canada is yet to come.
Meanwhile, the British Intelligence Agencies have cited a deep concern and have been urging the Government to take a decision on the matter.