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October 10, 2012

Canada could bar Huawei from building communications network

Canada has been targeted by China-based cyber-attacks on government, corporations as well as Bay Street law firms

By CBR Staff Writer

Canada has indicated to bar the Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei Technologies from assisting to develop a secure Canadian government communications network due to possible security risks.

The move follows labelling of both the Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE as threats to US national security in a probe by the US House of Representatives.

China’s commerce ministry has hinted that the adverse Congressional report could affect relations between the US and China which alleged that two Chinese telecommunications firms pose national security threats to the US.

Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s spokesman Andrew MacDougall said 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.

"I’ll leave it to you if you think … Huawei should be a part of a Canadian government security system," MacDougall said.

According to reports, since two years, Canada has been targeted by China-based cyber-attacks on government, corporations as well as Bay Street law firms.

Huawei Technologies Canada spokesman Scott Bradley told Reuters that the national security exception only applies to foreign companies.

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"Huawei is fully incorporated in Canada, and operates as a subsidiary Canadian company," Bradley said.

This alone effectively enables us to bid on any potential procurement opportunities."

Huawei employs about 130 engineers in its Ottawa research-and-development facility and 300 employees at its Canadian head quarters Ontario.

The company expects that its services may be demanded by Canadian firms in 2013, following an auction of wireless spectrum of 700 MHz frequencies that comply with the new mobile broadband technology, the long-term evolution (LTE).

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