TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chinese telecom giant Huawei has taken out advertisements in New Zealand newspapers to hit back at the country’s ban.
The advertisement Huawei has produced equates “5G without Huawei” to “rugby without New Zealand” and suggests the country will be subject to expensive, insecure and unreliable networks if Huawei is not part of its 5G out-build.
It features the country’s national rugby team the “All Blacks,” who won the World Cup in 2011 and 2015 and are regarded as one of the world’s leading teams across all sports.
Reports say the advertisement has been featured in some of the country’s leading media outlets including The New Zealand Herald and The Dominion Post, and on the popular website stuff.co.nz.
The New Zealand government denied Huawei technology permission to participate in its 5G network roll-out last November. Accusations were made that it had come under pressure from allies warning Huawei’s cooperation could compromise national security and provide Beijing access to sensitive information, but Wellington refuted these claims.
A representative from the country’s largest mobile carrier Spark, however, said that the Government Communications Security Bureau identified “a risk with the use of that technology” in its collaborative plan with Huawei.
China is New Zealand’s largest trading partner, although the stability of their relationship has come under question recently following several controversies.
The Huawei ban has led China to postpone Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s diplomatic visit scheduled for this month. Ardern was supposed to discuss the proposed “2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism" in Beijing next week.
Earlier this week, a commercial flight bound for Shanghai under the country’s flag carrier Air New Zealand was forced to turn around after not obtaining correct landing permission, reportedly due to documentation referring to Taiwan as a country.
China maintains that New Zealand’s exclusion of Huawei is “irrational,” CNBC reports, and that it’s resulting 5G network will be of poorer quality and cost more. The company continues to lobby Wellington for a concise explanation for its ban.