With the Turnbull government already under pressure to ban Huawei from participating in the roll out of the 5G network, security agencies are also examining the decisions around ZTE, which is China’s second biggest telco equipment manufacturer.
The US government this week blocked any company from supplying the Chinese manufacturer. This now includes Google who not only supply the operating system for the their phones but the suite of apps that are most popular on it in western markets.
The sanction comes after ZTE previously sold telecommunications hardware to both Iran and North Korea, violating the US’ trade laws and beginning a large investigation into the company’s practices.
The US has already banned Huawei from providing hardware that would provider infrastructure to domestic telecommunications networks for security reasons and Australia has been strongly advised to do the same, the Turnbull government remaining tight lipped & sitting on the fence over the issue.
The same will now be asked of ZTE. Presently the company provides a great deal of low-cost, rebranded phones sold by Telstra & Optus in Australia and could see the telco’s left trying to find another manufacturer if a sanction is imposed.