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Chinese spy fears on broadband frontrunner

Chinese spy fears on broadband frontrunner
Chinese spy fears on broadband frontrunner,25197,24816607-25837,00.html 

By Cameron Stewart 
The Australian
December 18, 2008

NATIONAL security concerns about Chinese espionage could threaten the 
new frontrunner for Australia's $15 billion publicly backed national 
broadband network.

Security agencies will closely examine the bid lodged by Singtel Optus, 
which is believed to propose the involvement of Chinese 
telecommunications equipment-maker Huawei Technologies to help build its 
network. Huawei was the subject of a US congressional investigation on 
national security grounds this year after legislators expressed concern 
about its links to the Chinese military and intelligence apparatus. The 
concerns led Huawei to withdraw from its joint $US2.2billion 
($3.3billion) bid to buy a stake in US internet router and networking 
giant 3Com.

Optus emerged this week as the surprise frontrunner for the national 
broadband network tender when the Government excluded Telstra from the 
tender process after its bid failed to meet some of the project's stated 

Huawei, the shadowy company based in Shenzen and founded by former 
People's Liberation Army officer and Communist Party member Ren 
Zhengfei, has triggered debate in the US, Britain and India about 
whether it is a legitimate international telecom player or a company 
bent on doing Beijing's bidding.

Intelligence agency concerns about Chinese cyber-espionage prompted 
India to scrap a planned $US60 million Huawei investment in its telco in 

Britain granted the company a $US140 million contract in that same year 
to build part of British Telecom's 21st Century Network.


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