More than just handsets, the Chinese manufacturer is a telecommunications gorilla.
And that is what has got the western world a case of the jitters.
It is no secret that China’s relations with the United States (and by proxy Australia) is a little strained especially in the intelligence sector with accusations around both sides engaging in various cyberwarfare operations.
It has been observed in the cybersecurity community that China is particularly active within the industrial espionage field with businesses reporting spikes in breach attempts after business dealings with some Chinese organisations.
This sets the scene for the latest in escalating tensions between China, the world telecommunications industry and government intelligence and trade arms.
In particular, the recent move by the Australian government to shut Huawei out of the 5G network.
The concern as alluded by intelligence communities despite Huawei’s assurances to the contrary is that due to the level of oversight and perceived control that the Chinese government holds over all businesses in the nation it would be easy for electonic eavesdropping to take place if Huawei controlled large chunks of the infrastructure.
This has been exposed before with some other Chinese tech products finding themselves under the microscope after the Superfish malware package was found pre-installed on some Lenovo (Chinese-made) laptops raising concerns over industrial espionage with the laptop that is incredibly popular with business.
It is unfortunate that this kind of uncertainty cloud is hanging over these accomplished brands because generally Huawei and Lenovo both make very well manufactured products that perform well in a highly competitive marketplace but one cannot discount the importance of stability and trust in this age where information security is becoming a key part of the decision when building the systems that will be relied on for keeping our information safe.