Chinese telecom equipment bellwether Huawei is in trouble again. Now the Australian Government has displaced Huawei from the construction of a 4,000km South Pacific cable. Instead, it has now decided to fund the project itself.
Huawei Marine had entered into an agreement with the Solomon Islands government to build a subsea cable to Sydney last year. However, the Australian Foreign Affairs and Trade Department has now handed over the contract to Vocus Communications to execute the project. Australian Government has recently issued a A$2.48 million ($2 million) consultancy contract to Vocus as part of its foreign aid program.
The project has been embroiled in controversies since the beginning. Initially the contract was awarded to Xtera, which later filed for bankruptcy. Post this it was awarded to Huawei Marine. The Australian Government has been concerned about the security of the cable network which has now prompted them to it to hand over the project to Vocus while deciding to directly invest in the project.
Media reports suggest that Australian Government was concerned about the growing influence of China in the region, which has become a national security issue. So to avoid any mishap it has decided to remove Huawei from the project. The cost of the original Solomons-Sydney cable was estimated at A$86 million.
Recently, the American Government forced AT&T to pull out of a deal to sell Huawei smartphones in the country. the deal was crucial for the company to realize its dream of becoming a leading global smartphone vendor. The US Government believed that Huawei’s links to the Chinese Government might create a security issue in the future.