Aussie’s ban on Chinese technology a wrong decision

By Liu Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2017/12/20 23:23:42

Major Chinese telecommunication provider ZTE Corp said Wednesday it has always paid attention to protecting users' privacy in response to news that Australian parliamentarians will discontinue using one of the company's phone models in fear they "might be spying on its owners."

"ZTE Corp has always placed a high priority on protecting users' privacy and it will make efforts to protect the safety of users' personal information and privacy," ZTE told the Global Times in an e-mail on Wednesday.

In September, the Daily Telegraph reported that the Australian Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) undertook an "urgent review" following inquiries by the newspaper about whether ZTE's Telstra Tough T55 handset used by local parliamentarians might pose a national security threat. Although the DPS said it could find no evidence the device posed a legitimate security threat, it would still find a different voice-only phone to replace the T55 "to remove any doubts"  about security, and the handsets in circulation would be phased out as they reach their end of service life, read the report.

"The incident displays the hostile attitude adopted by some Australian politicians toward  China. Like some Western countries, Australia remains guarded in its security as China pushes ahead in telecommunication and high-tech industries," Yu Lei, a research fellow at the Oceania Research Center of Sun Yat-sen University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

This is not the first time for Australia to make trouble with overseas Chinese enterprises on the premise of national security concerns, according to Yu. He mentioned Australia's opposition in August to China's Huawei Technologies in the providing of high-speed Internet to the Solomon Islands, a small Pacific island nation with which Australia shares Internet resources.

Chinese enterprises have moved from the bottom to a leading position in the overseas market, which makes Australia and other Western countries nervous regarding telecommunication-related spying and intelligence, said Yu.

"Although the incident may slightly impact ZTE's performance in Australia, Chinese enterprises have the advantage in price and technology, which still makes their products popular among the general public. Australia should also not close its doors on Chinese technologies, otherwise it will be left behind," Yu said.

There were 90 Telstra Tough T55 devices sold to parliamentarians and their staff in the last financial year on voice-only plans, Daily Telegraph reported.


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