Huawei has been banned from bidding on a job to build out Australia's national broadband network, due to concerns from the government around cyber attacks originating from China. The country made this determination on the advice of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization; the Attorney General's office reportedly met with Huawei late last year to tell the company that it shouldn't even bother submitting a bid. When asked about the ban, Australian prime minster Julia Gillard said that "you would expect, as a government, we would make all of the prudent decisions to make sure that that infrastructure project does what we want it to do, and we've taken one of those decisions." The proposed national broadband network would seek to connect 93 percent of Australian homes and businesses with optical fiber connections.
This isn't the first time that Huawei has been prohibited from working on networks buildouts due to security concerns — just last fall, the US government prohibited the company from building a wireless network for first responders, due to suspected ties between Huawei and the People's Liberation Army of China. In a statement responding to Australia's decision, Huawei said "while we're obviously disappointed by the decision, Huawei will continue to be open and transparent and work to find ways of providing assurance around the security of our technology." Despite these setbacks, Huawei is still doing business in Australia — the company is working with Vodafone on a $1 billion network upgrade, and is also working with Optus to build out a mobile network in Australia's Newcastle area.