Chinese tech firm denies carrying out PLA operation in Australia

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Beijing, Sep. 9 (ANI): A Chinese technological firm, which has been accused of carrying out operations in Australia with direct links to the People's Liberation Army, has denied allegations levelled against it.

China Daily spokesperson quoted Huawei Technologies spokesperson Ross Gan as saying that firm has not been contacted by the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO).

Gan, however, added that Huawei officials met with the ASIO in June for a routine briefing that the firm provides to all levels of government as well as to the networking equipment industry and customers.arlier, an Australian newspaper had said the ASIO made the claim that Huawei is hiring employees connected to the PLA.

According to the paper, the firm reportedly dismissed "several dozen" of its Australian-born workforce, replacing them with Chinese nationals.

These employees were allegedly spotted meeting officials at Chinese embassies and consulates in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne, according to the report.

This report comes at a time when four Shanghai-based employees of the Australian iron giant Rio Tinto are awaiting trial on charges of stealing trade secrets.

The Chinese government arrested the Rio Tinto employees in July and accused them of selling information that Chinese authorities believe put its steel makers at a disadvantage in iron ore price talks with the world's second largest iron ore supplier.

Founded by a former China's PLA official, Huawei is China's biggest telecommunications equipment maker.

The company announced earlier that its contract value reached 15.7 dollars billion in the first half of this year, an increase of 28 percent over the same period of last year.

But most of the company's overseas expansions, especially to developed countries, have been stymied by security concerns. (ANI)

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