New Zealand blocks Huawei on security grounds

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New Zealand has become the latest country to block a proposal to use telecoms equipment made by Huawei because of national security concerns.

The NZ government security agency has said that a proposed deals between Huawei and Spark New Zealand, which wanted to use Huawei equipment in its 5G mobile network, would bring significant risks to the country’s national security.

The move is part of a growing international push against the involvement of Chinese technology firms on security grounds and comes at a time when a growing number of countries are looking to invest in 5G networks, which will form the next significant wave of mobile infrastructure.

Huawei is the world's biggest producer of telecoms equipment and has faced resistance from a growing number of foreign governments over the risk that its technology could be used for espionage.

The head of NZ's Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) told Spark that their proposal "would, if implemented, raise significant national security risks", the company said.

The move follows a decision by Australia to block Huaewi and Chinese firm ZTE from providing 5G technology for the country's wireless networks on national security grounds.

The US and UK have also raised concerns and the firm has been scrutinised in Germany, Japan and Korea.

Experts say foreign governments are increasingly worried about the risk of espionage by China, given the close ties between companies and the state.