Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

China's Huawei to sponsor All Whites match

Huawei New Zealand will be a match partner for the All Whites friendly football game with China on November 14. Photo / Greg Bowker
Huawei New Zealand will be a match partner for the All Whites friendly football game with China on November 14. Photo / Greg Bowker

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei - which sparked fresh controversy this month over its alleged links to China's military and fears of international espionage - has gone on the PR offensive, announcing its sponsorship of an All Whites match in Shanghai.

Huawei New Zealand will be a match partner for the All Whites friendly football game with China happening on November 14.

The match is part of celebrations marking 40 years of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and China, according to a statement from Huawei.

It was the first sponsorship deal of its kind that Huawei New Zealand has entered into and although it is only for a single match, a company spokesperson said discussions may be had in the future about a longer partnership.

Huawei was under the gun around the world earlier this month when a United States government report warned the Chinese company's network equipment could present a national security threat.

This, in turn, sparked calls from New Zealand politicians for a review of the company's operations in New Zealand.

Huawei, which denies these accusations, secured contracts last year with Chorus to supply equipment for the Government's rural broadband initiative.

Its technology is the cornerstone of 2degrees' mobile infrastructure and Vodafone's fixed-line network.

Huawei is also involved in the rollout of New Zealand's ultra-fast broadband (UFB) network.

Following the US report, Labour's acting communications spokesman David Cunliffe said the Government needed to launch a full, independent inquiry into its handling of Huawei's role in the UFB rollout.

"What is critical for New Zealand is for the public to have confidence that our Government is fully on top of the issues and managing any risks," Cunliffe said.

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