Australia's decision to ban Huawei Technologies from bidding for contracts in Australia's $38 billion high-speed broadband network is unfair and Beijing is "deeply concerned," China's Ministry of Commerce said on Friday.
"The Australian side should not, without any proven facts, keep companies away from normal competition for so-called security reasons," Shen Danyang, a ministry spokesperson said in a statement on the ministry's website.
Huawei Technologies Co Ltd (Shenzhen, P.R.C.), the world's largest telecoms firm, was blocked from tendering for contracts in the Australian broadband project due to undefined security concerns.
The Australian Financial Review said in a report on Monday that Huawei was seeking to secure a supply contract worth up to $1.04 billion with NBN, but has been blocked by the Attorney-General's department based on advice from Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO).
When asked to comment on the report, a spokesman for Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said in a statement: "This is consistent with the government's practice for ensuring the security and resilience of Australia's critical infrastructure more broadly."
Shen said Huawei has a good track record in Australia and that Huawei Australia employs Australians for 90% of its workforce.
The Australian broadband project aims to connect 93% of Australian homes and workplaces with optical fiber, providing broadband services in urban and regional areas. It was created in 2009 by the Australian government with committed investment of up to $38 billion and is expected to be ready by 2020.
(Reporting by Zhou Xin and Koh Gui Qing)