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Huawei to plead case directly with Govt after UK decision

After the UK announced late on Tuesday that it would permit Huawei to design some of the country's 5G network, the Chinese company's New Zealand branch has said it will take its case to the Government

Huawei New Zealand's deputy managing director Andrew Bowater said that he would be reaching out directly to Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi and GCSB Minister Andrew Little in order to plead the company's case.

The GCSB has previously blocked an application from Spark NZ to allow Huawei to design its 5G network. On Tuesday, the UK announced that it would be the first Five Eyes country to let the company become involved in its 5G network. This is significant as Huawei is widely seen as closely connected to the Chinese government through its financing by state banks and the founder's deep history with the Chinese military.

Huawei has repeatedly denied accusations that it has any connection to the Chinese government or that it would be used by the country to attack or sabotage digital infrastructure.

Bowater told Newsroom that he would reach out to Government officials "over the coming weeks", even if an application to use the company's technology in a 5G network isn't immediately forthcoming from Spark or 2degrees.

"We've said all along that the ramifications of this decision are much bigger than one project," Bowater said.

"We feel it is important, it is about the future of our business, so we feel we should have the right under fair process to state our case to ministers and the Government, just like any other company would. The issues are a lot broader than one specific notification from time to time."

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