New Zealand bans Huawei from 5G upgrade over security fears

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand's international spy agency has banned mobile company Spark from using Huawei equipment in its planned 5G upgrade, saying it posed a "significant network security risk."

The action follows a similar ban in Australia, where the Chinese telecommunications giant was blocked in August from rolling out Australia's 5G network due to security concerns.

Spark says it is disappointed with the decision by New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau. But the company said in a statement Wednesday it is confident it can still launch its 5G network by July 2020.

Huawei suffered a setback in the U.S. market in 2012 when a congressional report said it was a security risk and warned phone companies not to buy its equipment.

China is New Zealand's largest trading partner.