I wrote last year about Huawei and the company's struggles to establish itself as a reputable company disconnected from the Chinese government. In the last few days a new setback came to light for the Chinese giant: the Australian Government has barred it from bidding for the Australian Next-Generation Broadband Network.
This must be seen as a massive setback internally since Huawei has been working hard on establishing its legitimacy when it comes to national broadband projects, highlighting its presence as a vendor in many such projects including Singapore, Malaysia and, until recently Australia. To some extent, it's also most likely an unfair ruling and one that could (although I'm not enough of a legal expert to assess that) go against WTO rules.
Having said that, Huawei, right or wrong, is suffering from the Chinese government's own policies and geo-political approach. There's an interesting question about whether the Chinese government is aware that it is hampering the ability of its own national industrial giants to do "business as usual" abroad. I shall not address that here, this is not a blog on geo-politics and I'm by no means an expert. Still, it's worth keeping in mind that this may not be a distrust of Huawei so much as a distrust of China.
A few years ago, I reported here that Sweden had debated the question of whether structural separation should be considered on National Security grounds. Evidently, even with a structurally separate active wholesale network, national security questions can still be raised…