Huawei terminates rugby sponsorship in Australia after 5G ban

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/31 15:45:43

People visit the booth of Chinese tech company Huawei at the 2019 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, Feb. 25, 2019. (Xinhua/Guo Qiuda)

Huawei's Australian office announced Monday it was ending its longest running sporting sponsorship of an Australian professional rugby team, the Canberra Raiders, citing Canberra's discriminative ban of Huawei 5G, and continued hostile business environment there.

"Huawei Australia regrets to announce that the current 2020 National Rugby League (NRL) season will be our final year as major sponsor of the Canberra Raiders after nearly a decade together," Huawei said in a statement.

Huawei announced a new two-season deal with the Canberra Raiders in June 2019 to run through to the end of the 2021 NRL season.

"The continued negative business environment is having a larger than originally forecasted impact on our planned revenue stream and therefore we will have to terminate our major sponsorship of the Raiders at the end of the 2020 season," the statement continued.

Jeremy Mitchell, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of Huawei Australia, suggested in the statement that former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's administration's decision in 2018 to ban Huawei from the country's 5G rollout was part of the reason for the decision.

"Even after the Turnbull government banned us from 5G we managed to find the resources to continue the sponsorship, but we just can't financially support it any longer," Mitchell said.

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