Huawei could be excluded from Canada government network

  • Canada has suggested it may exclude Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei Technologies from helping it build a secure government communications network due to possible security risks.

    Canada has invoked a national security exception to enable it to discriminate, without violating international trade obligations, against companies deemed as too risky to be involved in putting together the network for carrying government phone calls, emails and data center services, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's spokesman told a news conference.

    "The government's going to be choosing carefully in the construction of this network, and it has invoked the national security exception for the building of this network," said Andrew MacDougall, the spokesman for the Conservative prime minister.

    MacDougall was speaking in reaction to a report released on Monday by the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, which urged American firms to stop doing business with Huawei and another Chinese telecom equipment maker, ZTE.

    It warned that China could use equipment to spy on communications.

    Huawei and ZTE are the world's second and fifth-largest makers of wireless telecoms equipment.

    Australia has gone one step further in invoking the security exception by barring Huawei from taking part in contracts to build its government's $38 billion national broadband network.