Huawei and ZTE banned from selling 5G equipment to Australia

  • China's Huawei and ZTE have been banned from providing 5G technology equipment to Australia, citing national security concerns.
  • Huawei said the move was "extremely disappointing."
  • Australia's government did not name the Chinese firms, but said companies with "extrajudicial directions from a foreign government" may not adequately protect a mobile network.
An attendee uses a mobile phone while standing in front of the Huawei Technologies Co. booth at the Mobile World Congress Shanghai in Shanghai, China, on Thursday, June 28, 2018. The exhibition runs through June 29. 
Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An attendee uses a mobile phone while standing in front of the Huawei Technologies Co. booth at the Mobile World Congress Shanghai in Shanghai, China, on Thursday, June 28, 2018. The exhibition runs through June 29. 

China's Huawei and ZTE have been banned from providing 5G technology equipment to Australia.

Huawei made a statement on Twitter Thursday saying that the Australian government had made the move despite the Chinese firm "safely and securely" delivering wireless technology in the country for nearly 15 years.

A spokesperson for Australia's Department of Communications and the Arts, which overseas telecoms regulations, did not say Huawei and ZTE had been banned specifically, but pointed CNBC toward a statement released Thursday regarding security guidance for Australian mobile carriers.

"The government considers that the involvement of vendors 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 unauthorized access or interference," part of the statement said, highlighting that the government feels both Chinese firms could post national security threats.

Huawei and ZTE were not immediately available for comment.

5G next generation mobile internet technology is touted as being the backbone of future cities and even driverless cars. Many countries, including China and the U.S., are laying the groundwork to roll this technology out in the next few years. But it is also highly politicized with China and the U.S. battling it out to become a leader in the technology.

In the U.S., Huawei and ZTE are restricted from selling telecoms equipment because of national security concerns.