NZ cries foul over Huawei rugby quip

2019-02-13 09:52
Huawei logo (File)
Huawei logo (File)

Wellington - Chinese telecom giant Huawei took a light-hearted dig on Wednesday at New Zealand's decision to ban it from the rugby-mad nation's 5G infrastructure development, leaving officials in Wellington unimpressed.

"5G without Huawei is like rugby without New Zealand," the company said in full-page advertisements published in major newspapers.

The unusual move comes after New Zealand's intelligence services in November rejected a plan to use Huawei technology in a next-generation 5G network, citing "significant national security risks".

It was part of a wave of bans on Huawei in a growing number of countries over fears the company's equipment could act as an espionage backdoor for China, which Beijing labels "groundless".

Huawei New Zealand said there was no evidence the company had done anything wrong and the ban may prevent Kiwis using the best possible network.

"We see this as a quirky way of getting that message across," it told Radio New Zealand.

"New Zealanders wouldn't accept second or third best on the rugby field, and they shouldn't have to put up with it when it comes to 5G."

However, New Zealand's government has been trying to downplay the ban in a bid to avoid offending its largest trading partner and was not laughing after Huawei put the issue back on the public agenda.

"It's not helping," the government minister Andrew Little who oversees intelligence services, told reporters.

"They can bark as long as they like, but we have decisions to make about New Zealand's national security interests. That's the only thing upon which we will make a decision."

The government has previously denied it acted because Huawei was Chinese and said there had not been any pressure to blacklist the company from its "Five Eyes" intelligence partners - the United States, Britain, Australia and Canada.

Read more on:    new zealand  |  rugby


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Which of the 4 South African team will finish with the fewest Super Rugby SA Conference points?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.