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Huawei defends overseas invitations after Aussie think tank warning

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Huawei defends its sponsorship of overseas trips for Australian politicians in response to a recent Australian think tank report that criticized the Chinese company's actions.

"We invite media, businesses, think tanks and politicians to visit us and understand us better. The more people see and experience the worldwide innovation-leading Huawei, the more people will understand the benefits we bring to Australia," the company told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) said Huawei paid for 12 trips for Australian federal politicians to the company's headquarters in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, including business class flights, domestic travel, accommodations and meals from 2010 to the present based on the disclosures of politicians, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

The report came as several politicians have called for Huawei to be banned from participating in a roll-out of Australia's 5G next-generation communications network, saying the company is effectively controlled by the Chinese government, Reuters reported.

"Huawei has submitted documents to Australian authorities to prove the security of its services. The company needs to be fairly treated," Fu Liang, a Beijing-based telecom industry expert, told the Global Times.

Huawei invites various groups to its headquarters in China, according to the company. Most of those invited are non-politicians who partially bankroll their trips.

Huawei also stressed that it will continue to invite and host people to see why it has become a global leader in information and communications technology (ICT). More than half of Australia's population depends on Huawei's technology for their daily communication needs, according to Huawei.

"The reasonable price, high-quality equipment, highly efficient service and good user experience are essential reasons for local telecommunication companies to choose Huawei," said Xiang Ligang, chief executive of telecom industry news site cctime.com.

Huawei helped Australia build low-cost well-functioning telecom networks in many sparsely-populated areas, a service which was difficult to come by, he added.

"Without Huawei, local telecom operators would face higher costs and lower service efficiency, which would trickle down to independent operators and consumers," he noted.



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