According to the same tweet, ZTE, another Chinese technology company, was also banned. Huawei and ZTE did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
U.S. officials and others have long suspected that Huawei, the second-largest smartphone maker in the world, maintains ties to China’s communist leaders. Lawmakers have expressed concern that the company’s technology poses a national security risk because its devices may contain features designed to compromise American users. The Federal Communications Commission has been reviewing a proposal that would deny federal funding to firms that do business with Huawei and ZTE.
On Thursday, two Australian government ministers issued new security guidance for the development of the 5G network. They did not mention ZTE or Huawei by name but said that the next stage of wireless technology poses unique national security risks, which may disqualify certain device makers from being used by the country’s telecom carriers.
“[V]endors who are likely to be subject to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government that conflict with Australian law, may risk failure by the carrier to adequately protect a 5G network from unauthorised interference or access,” the Australian government said.
Lu Kang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, criticized the motives behind the ban in a daily news briefing.
“We urge the Australian government to abandon ideological prejudices and provide a fair competitive environment for Chinese companies’ operations in Australia,” he said, according to Reuters.