Chinese spy fears on Australia’s broadband frontrunner

National security concerns about Chinese espionage could threaten the new frontrunner for Australia’s $15 billion publicly backed national broadband network.Security agencies will closely examine the bid lodged by Singtel Optus, which is believed to propose the involvement of Chinese telecommunications equipment-maker Huawei Technologies to help build its network. Huawei was the subject of a US congressional investigation on national security grounds this year after legislators expressed concern about its links to the Chinese military and intelligence apparatus. The concerns led Huawei to withdraw from its joint $US2.2billion ($3.3billion) bid to buy a stake in US internet router and networking giant 3Com.Optus emerged this week as the surprise frontrunner for the national broadband network tender when the Government excluded Telstra from the tender process after its bid failed to meet some of the project’s stated requirements.To read this report in full in The Australian, see www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24816607-601,00.html.

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