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Huawei has initiated what could potentially be a prolonged legal battle against the Australian government over its decision to ban Chinese telecom companies from participating in the country’s 5G network deployment.

The new barrage comes after the findings of the Ovum report, a global analytics firm commissioned by Huawei, which challenged the ban implemented by former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The report cited that the government was wrong in imposing the ban due to baseless concerns over possible national security and surveillance risks.

According to Zhou Weihuan, a senior law lecturer at the Herbert Smith Freehills China International Business and Economic Law Centre the University of New South Wales, he believed that Australia’s premise for the ban was “weak at best” and that “Australia does not have sufficient grounds under the national security exemptions to ban the Chinese companies.”

“Unless Australia can prove that Chinese 5G equipment poses a higher risk than the same equipment from other countries, the discrimination would be unjustifiable,” Zhou added.

The ban could have a detrimental effect on the Australian market, as Australians will end up paying exorbitant amounts of money to grow their networks without the superior technology provided by Chinese vendors.


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