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10 Dec, 2018 11:13

Japan may be taking sides with US in trade war against China, halts purchases of Huawei & ZTE tech

Japan may be taking sides with US in trade war against China, halts purchases of Huawei & ZTE tech

Tokyo has announced plans to halt government purchases of Huawei and ZTE network equipment, citing security issues. The claims come amid a brewing diplomatic row over the Huawei CEO detained by Canada at Washington’s request.

Japanese central government ministries and the Self-Defense Forces have reportedly received procurement guidelines that effectively ban the offices from buying telecommunications equipment, servers and personal computers from Chinese telecom giants. The new rules will come into effect in 2019, after a training period.

The decision was reportedly made after communication with the US on a wide range of issues, including cybersecurity, according to Japan’s chief government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga.

Later, Japanese media agency Kyodo News reported that the country’s big three telecom operators are planning to stop using network equipment from China’s Huawei and ZTE.

The ban came after Huawei’s expulsion from the US market followed by Washington’s allies, including Australia, New Zealand and Britain, making moves to restrict the Chinese telecom giants’ businesses. The restrictive measures were taken due to the company’s alleged ties to the Chinese government and concerns over spying.

Earlier this month, Canadian authorities arrested Meng Wanzhou, the global chief financial officer at Huawei Technologies, at the request of US authorities. The top executive faces possible extradition to the US for allegedly breaking a trade embargo with Iran.

China has never heard of any country having a security problem with Huawei, according to the Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang who called for equal conditions for Chinese companies abroad.

“Chinese enterprises operating in Japan under any circumstances cannot become a target for discrimination,” the spokesman said. “We demand that Japan provide Chinese corporations with transparent, equal and nondiscriminatory conditions.”

Huawei stock has plunged over 13 percent since Washington started using the Chinese corporation as a tool in a trade war against Beijing.

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