New Zealand’s intelligence agency has rejected the first 5G bid from Huawei over concerns of national security, according to a Reuters report. The request came from Spark New Zealand Ltd., a telecoms provider, that wanted to implement 5G equipment manufactured by Chinese giant Huawei. Spark said it would review the reasons behind the rejection before taking further action.

While Huawei has insisted, numerous times, that Beijing has no influence over its products and services, more and more Western countries are expressing extreme caution when it comes to Huawei, or Chinese hardware and software in general.

The move follows the footsteps of a similar decision taken earlier this year by Australia over the same topic of 5G equipment. Huawei mentioned that it has already signed more than 20 c0ntracts with providers related to 5G worldwide. It also said that it will “actively address any concerns and work together to find a way forward”.

“We hope the New Zealand government provides a fair competition environment for Chinese companies operating in New Zealand, and does more to benefit bilateral mutual trust and cooperation”, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, who also expressed “serious concern”, referring to the two countries’ bilateral business ties that are regarded as a win-win.

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