The Australian government has banned Huawei and ZTE from providing hardware equipment for the country's 5G network, a Huawei spokesperson revealed today.
The Chinese company's announcement came on the day that the Australian government put out a press release detailing its efforts in improving the security of its upcoming and soon-to-be-built 5G communications network.
These efforts included passing the Telecommunications Sector Security Reforms (TSSR) last year, a law that introduces new legal measures that allow the Aussie government the ability to intervene and issue directions in cases where there are significant national security concerns.
The Australian government appears to have taken advantage of this new law by imposing a ban on Australian telcos, forbidding them from purchasing and using any Huawei and ZTE equipment for building its national 5G network.
The press release, authored by the Minister for Communications and the Arts and the Acting Minister for Home Affairs, did not mention the two Chinese companies by name, but Huawei revealed the ban on Twitter yesterday.
We have been informed by the Govt that Huawei & ZTE have been banned from providing 5G technology to Australia. This is a extremely disappointing result for consumers. Huawei is a world leader in 5G. Has safely & securely delivered wireless technology in Aust for close to 15 yrs— Huawei Australia (@HuaweiOZ) August 22, 2018
Previously, ZTE has been banned in the US, where the Department of Commerce prohibited US companies from selling hardware and software to the Chinese vendor on charges of violating US-imposed sanctions by selling equipment to banned parties.
Huawei is not banned in the US, but lawmakers are working on two separate bills that would block US government agencies from buying, using, or contracting Chinese-made telecommunications equipment or services. The two bills specifically name Huawei as an example of a suspicious Chinese vendor.
Australian press has reported many hacks in the past few years, which they and the country's officials attributed to Chinese hackers. Anti-Chinese sentiment is pretty high in all Five Eyes countries, where China is viewed as one of the four big cyber threats, next to Russia, Iran, and North Korea.