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Huawei labels US warning 'political'

Canberra Raiders players showing off their new Huawei sponsorship jerseys in March, when Huawei signed a $1.7 million, two-year sponsorship deal with the Raiders.

Canberra Raiders players showing off their new Huawei sponsorship jerseys in March, when Huawei signed a $1.7 million, two-year sponsorship deal with the Raiders. Photo: Katherine Griffiths

Chinese telecom company Huawei, sponsor of the Raiders, hit back last night at new claims it poses a security threat.

Its Australian spokesman referred to ''political agendas'' after the US followed Australia by warning about the company.

The privately owned Chinese company was banned earlier this year from multibillion-dollar tenders to supply equipment to the national broadband network on advice from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.

The decision sparked claims from the opposition that the government was jeopardising vital Chinese investment.

The company has been lifting its profile, including through a two-year $1.7 million deal to sponsor the Raiders.

The US House intelligence committee says regulators should block mergers and acquisitions in the US by Huawei Technologies Ltd and ZTE Corp, China's two leading technology firms.

It also advises that US government systems not include equipment from the two firms and that private US companies avoid business with them.

Huawei and ZTE are among the world's leading suppliers of telecommunications gear.

Both deny being influenced by the Chinese government and posing a security threat.

The Huawei Australia spokesman said: ''The facts speak for themselves. You don't become the world's number-one telecommunications equipment provider unless your partners trust your technology, your products and your staff.

''Huawei works with 45 of the world's top 50 operators and all major Australian operators and our technology is second to none.

''Those are the facts today and those will continue to be the facts, political agendas aside.''

Last month, the former Victorian premier John Brumby, a director of Huawei Australia, said he was hopeful the company could take part in the broadband network, as this would convince other governments it was not a security risk. Former Howard government foreign affairs minister Alexander Downer is also a director of Huawei Australia.

The company, which employs 150,000 staff in 140 countries, fears that it will be further sidelined from the Australian market by proposed new national security measures.

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