[Sydney, July 22nd 2020] Huawei Australia is delighted the Industry Advisory Panel on the Federal Government’s Cyber-Security 2020 strategy, led by Telstra CEO Andy Penn, has agreed with Huawei’s own submission that the best approach to the Cyber-Security is to secure the supply chain and build an independent testing regime for all vendor equipment.
On the critical issue of securing the digital supply chain the Industry Advisory Panel recommends, “Threats to critical infrastructure, digital supply chains and systems of national significance should be addressed first.”
Huawei has long argued the most important issue facing the local industry is that rather than blocking individual vendors based on their flag of origin that actually properly securing the supply-chain is by far the most important issue.
This is a position also supported by two United Kingdom Parliamentary committees as well as being proposed and implemented in the European Union.
All three 5G telecom operators in Australia use 5G technology that is manufactured in China by joint-ventures between international vendors and state-owned enterprises.
We hope that by recognizing the importance of securing the supply chain on a universally applied basis – and in a non-discriminatory way – that the Industry Advisory Panel’s recommendations will help move the Cyber-Security 2020 strategy towards a fully secure and consistent position across the industry.
We are also delighted to see that the Industry Advisory Panel “strongly encourages major vendors to sign-up to a voluntary ‘secure by design’ charter to leverage international best practice” in delivering a fully transparent and assurance program of network equipment.
Huawei has long argued that all telecom network vendors should have their kit tested and approved by an independent body and have advocated for this position within the local industry bodies for some time.
Unfortunately Huawei continues to be the only major vendor in Australia prepared to support and participate in such an independent testing program.
Sadly any progress towards achieving this has been openly blocked by other international vendors despite the fact that they have been arguing for such a program to be adopted in other parts of the world including the European Union.
Huawei is disappointed that – unlike the recent Federal Parliamentary committee report into the future of 5G in Australia, led by the Hon. Dr. David Gillespie – that the Industry Advisory Panel did not make recommendations on the importance of developing local manufacturing in securing the supply chain.
Dr. Gillespie’s committee recommended that the Australian Government investigate ways to encourage the manufacture of 5G infrastructure within Australia to examine how Australia could actively participate in the manufacture of components and equipment for use in the rollout of 5G networks given international vendors are importing all their 5G kit from China.
Huawei has always supported promoting Australian innovation into its global supply chain. Huawei invested $60 million in establishing a global software development facility in Australia that exported technology globally across our product range, at the time creating around 90 high-tech job opportunities.