Briefing: New Zealand blocks Huawei 5G equipment

New Zealand Blocks Huawei, in Blow to Chinese Telecom Giant – The New York Times

What happened: New Zealand has blocked the world’s largest telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies from supplying technology for 5G network in the country, joining the ranks of the US, Australia and other developed countries who regard the Chinese tech giant as a threat to security. Spark, a major telecom carrier in New Zealand, said in a statement on Wednesday that it was not able to use Huawei’s 5G equipment after the country’s intelligence agency rejected its proposal on national security grounds.

Why it’s important: Over the past year, the US rallied against Chinese telecom equipment manufacturers including Huawei and ZTE, fearing these companies’ close ties with the Chinese government would make their network equipment vulnerable to surveillance and interference.

Earlier this week, however, Papua New Guinea decided that it would uphold a deal with Huawei to lay domestic internet cables, turning down a joint counteroffer from Australia, the US, and Japan. A recent report from the Wall Street Journal suggests US officials have been trying to persuade its foreign allies to avoid using Huawei 5G equipment.