Huawei has stepped up its opposition to a ban on Australia’s 5G network, warning that billions of dollars in investment and 1500 jobs could be at risk if the ban continues. At its annual supplier summit in Sydney on December 2, Huawei told representatives of its 50 Australian suppliers that orders could dry up by the end of 2020 because of the ban.
“Over the past few years, Huawei has partnered with local contractors to build mobile infrastructure for Australian operators, investing nearly A$1 billion ($678 million),” Huawei said in a statement. ”
Jeremy Mitchell, head of corporate and public affairs, said: “The vast majority of our suppliers are small and medium-sized businesses employing about 30 people, and in many cases Huawei now contributes about 80 per cent of their annual revenues. ”
Mr Mitchell said the 5G ban would cause “huge problems” for the companies, leaving Huawei’s direct contractors and local subcontractors facing job losses within the next 18 months.
It is the latest move by Huawei to overturn a government decision made in August 2018. According to the decision, Huawei would not actually be able to bid for the 5G project for national security reasons.
Earlier this month, Huawei told Australian politicians that Australia was lagging behind other countries in deploying next-generation technology and faced higher costs because of competition.
The company added that it had hired Xenophon-Davis, a local law firm, as its strategic adviser to defend what it called “malicious and false attacks designed to damage our reputation”.
The legal firm will work with Huawei’s corporate affairs staff to “help us question false and misleading statements made by entities with strong vested interests” and “to provide a more fact-based dialogue in the national media.”
Mitchell noted that the appointment was “part of an effort to ensure that important discussions about cybersecurity are based on facts, not on the basis of unfounded cynicism.” “