Huawei urged to consider Australian float: report

SYDNEY Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:40pm EDT

A Huawei logo is seen above the company's exhibition pavilion during the CommunicAsia information and communications technology trade show in Singapore June 19, 2012. REUTERS/Tim Chong

A Huawei logo is seen above the company's exhibition pavilion during the CommunicAsia information and communications technology trade show in Singapore June 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Tim Chong

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - A board member of the Australian arm of China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, which was banned from tendering for work on Australia's $38 billion broadband network, says it should consider a local float to ease security concerns, the Australian Financial Review reported on Wednesday.

The paper quoted board member John Brumby, a former premier of Victoria state, as saying he was urging Huawei to consider building an Australian research and technology centre and an eventual local stock exchange listing.

The board of Huawei Australia would discuss more localization measures with the Chinese parent in the next few months following a commitment by Huawei Chief Executive and founder Ren Zhengfei to reinvest all Australian profits in the country, Brumby said.

Other directors of Huawei Australia include former Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer.

Huawei, the world's largest supplier of telecoms network equipment by revenue, has become a significant player in Australia. It supplies equipment to Optus and Vodafone, and has conducted trials with Telstra.

But the Australian government cited cyber-security concerns when it barred Huawei from bidding for contracts to build the national broadband network (NBN), which aims to connect 93 percent of Australian homes and workplaces with optical fiber.

Huawei has also been blocked from deals in the United States due to national security concerns and allegations it violated sanctions by supplying Iran with censorship equipment

Ren's background as a former officer of the People's Liberation Army in China has fuelled claims Huawei has a cozy relationship with the Chinese government. The claims have been denied by the company.

(Reporting by Narayanan Somasundaram; Editing by John Mair)

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