In Brief

New Zealand blocks Huawei 5G network equipment

Officials say a ‘significant security risk’ was identified in the Chinese company’s technology

Chinese telecom supplier Huawei has been dealt a major blow by the New Zealand government, which has banned its top telecom provider from using the company’s technology to build its planned 5G network.

Andrew Hampton, Director General of New Zealand's spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), confirmed to CNN that a “significant network security risk was identified”.

The BBC says this is simply “a polite way of saying that Beijing might use the technology to spy on the country or disrupt its communications in a future dispute”.

New Zealand joins Australia and the United States in blocking Huawei from providing telecommunications equipment for 5G networks over fears of security issues with the technology.

The US has effectively banned the use of all Huawei equipment since 2012, and has been actively campaigning for allies to do the same. Canada is currently undertaking its own security review of Huawei products.

The UK government currently uses Huawei equipment, and has been working with the company to hunt for security flaws.

While no deliberate evidence has been uncovered, investigators did conclude in July that Huawei’s broadband and mobile infrastructure equipment has “only limited assurance” that the technology poses no threat to national security.

Huawei issued a statement confirming New Zealand’s decision, adding that it was an “ongoing process” and that the company would “actively address any concerns and work together to find a way forward”.

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