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Japan's top 3 telcos to exclude Huawei, ZTE network gear

Tokyo

JAPAN'S big three telecoms operators plan not to use network equipment from China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp, Kyodo News reported on Monday.

The plan applies to current equipment as well as upcoming fifth-generation (5G) gear, Kyodo reported without citing sources. Japan plans to ban government purchases of equipment from Huawei and ZTE to ensure strength in its defences against intelligence leaks and cyber attacks, sources told Reuters last week.

Representatives of the three telcos, NTT Docomo Inc, KDDI Corp and SoftBank Group Corp, were not immediately available to comment.

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Huawei has already been locked out of the US market and Australia and New Zealand have blocked it from building 5G networks amid concerns of possible links the firm has with China's government. Huawei has repeatedly insisted Beijing has no influence over it.

Last week, Canadian officials arrested Huawei's chief financial officer for extradition to the US, sparking fears that the arrest would throw up another hurdle to the resolution of a trade war between the world's biggest two economies.

SoftBank, which has a long relationship with Huawei and has partnered the firm in 5G trials, was the biggest decliner among the three telcos on Monday. Its shares closed down 3.5 per cent ahead of the Kyodo report, over concerns about the impact a backlash against Huawei could have on its business. The benchmark index closed down 2 per cent. REUTERS