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NZ cries foul over Huawei rugby quip

AFP  |  Wellington 

Chinese took a light-hearted dig Wednesday at New Zealand's decision to ban it from the rugby-mad nation's infrastructure development, leaving officials in unimpressed.

"without is like rugby without New Zealand," the company said in full-page advertisements published in major newspapers.

The unusual move comes after New Zealand's in November rejected a plan to use technology in a next-generation network, citing "significant national security risks".

It was part of a wave of bans on Huawei in a growing number of countries over fears the company's equipment could act as an espionage backdoor for China, which labels "groundless".

Huawei said there was no evidence the company had done anything wrong and the ban may prevent Kiwis using the best

"We see this as a quirky way of getting that message across," it told Radio

"New Zealanders wouldn't accept second or third best on the rugby field, and they shouldn't have to put up with it when it comes to 5G."

However, has been trying to downplay the ban in a bid to avoid offending its largest trading partner and was not laughing after Huawei put the issue back on the public agenda.

"It's not helping," the who oversees intelligence services, told reporters.

"They can bark as long as they like, but we have decisions to make about New Zealand's national security interests. That's the only thing upon which we will make a decision."

The government has previously denied it acted because Huawei was Chinese and said there had not been any pressure to blacklist the company from its "Five Eyes" intelligence partners -- the United States, Britain, and

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 13 2019. 14:40 IST