Canberra: An official of Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies said on Friday he is concerned that new Australian laws to protect communication networks from cyber-attacks could exclude companies from tendering for work simply because they’re Chinese.
Huawei’s Australian subsidiary was last year barred on security grounds from working on a national broadband network that is now under construction.
Its chairman John Lord told a parliamentary committee hearing on the proposed law that Australia could lose its competitive edge if it excluded companies from sensitive projects based on their nationality alone.
The hearing comes in the same week that the US House Intelligence Committee quizzed Huawei and ZTE Corp. executives as part of a year-long probe into whether the Chinese companies pose a threat to US national security.
Huawei denies it poses any threat. China’s second largest private company with branches in 140 countries issued a report on cyber security last week that included a pledge never to cooperate with spying in a fresh effort to allay concerns in the US and elsewhere that threaten to hamper its expansion.