Huawei Australia Statement on TikTok

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[Sydney August 6th 2020] Huawei Australia welcomes the comments made by Prime Minister Scott Morrison suggesting that his government will not be banning TikTok from the Australian market on the basis that there is “no evidence” that the company has committed any wrongdoing.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison:

“We have had a good look at this, and there is no evidence for us to suggest … that there is any misuse of any people’s data [by TikTok]…. there is no reason for us to restrict those applications at this point. We’ll obviously keep watching them.”

We welcome this evidence-based approach towards TikTok from the Morrison Government and are extremely regretful that the Turnbull Government did not take a similar approach when it banned Huawei from 5G in August 2018.

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull admitted in his autobiography A Bigger Picture that his government had banned Huawei from 5G in Australia despite having no evidence our company had committed any wrongdoing whatsoever.

Extract from A Bigger Picture:

That didn’t mean we thought Huawei was currently being used to interfere with our telecommunications networks. Our approach was a hedge against a future threat: not the identification of a smoking gun but a loaded one.

By contrast the United Kingdom Government cleared Huawei to deliver 5G in the UK after a thorough review and Huawei will continue to deliver 5G in the UK until 2027. The recent restrictions on Huawei delivering 5G in the UK were only forced by the changes to US trade policy and were not related to Cyber-Security concerns on Huawei.

Jeremy Mitchell, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Huawei Australia:

“Huawei is extremely disappointed that whilst TikTok is being treated fairly and solely on the basis of its current conduct Huawei was banned by the Turnbull Government solely on the grounds of what it may do in the future – which is impossible for us to disprove.

“As we have long argued the decision to ban Huawei by the Turnbull Government was made in a rushed manner and in a toxic political atmosphere in which Prime Minister Turnbull was attempting to fight off a challenge in his own party room.

“The more stable governing environment being delivered by Prime Minister Scott Morrison has clearly allowed the Prime Minister to take a fully evidence-based approach to TikTok – a privilege that Huawei was not afforded under the Turnbull Government.

“Huawei Australia stands ready at any time for discussions with the Federal Government to once again demonstrate our spotless record in delivering safe and secure networks for sixteen years in Australia and for ways to mitigate any perceived risk.”

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