Canberra, Australia (AP) – Chinese telecom giant Huawei has ended its oldest major sports sponsorship deal, saying on Monday it will join an Australian rugby team after nine years due to a “great trade war” between China and Australia She was breaking her contract.
Australia has in recent years prevented the world’s largest manufacturer of shifting gears and major smartphone brands from joining important national communications infrastructure, while China has pushed for a reversal of Australian policy.
“As everyone knows, Huawei is stuck in the middle of a great trade war and the impact on our business exceeds our expectation,” Huawei Australia’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Jeremy Mitchell told reporters.
Huawei ended its current financial support of the Canberra Raiders at the end of the current National Rugby League season due to a “negative business environment” in Australia, Mitchell said. The grand finale is on 25 October.
Huawei will continue as one of the smaller sponsors, as the team seeks a major major sponsor.
“We would love to stay for another nine years or 10 years, but the business environment in Australia is very tough,” Mitchell said.
The Raiders are the only team in the national competition located at the heart of the Australian capital, government and national policy-making.
Last year, Huawei renewed its sponsorship deal for two years by the end of the 2021 season.
Huawei’s historic decision to sponsor the team in 2011 came months after the government banned the company on security grounds from joining the rollout of Australia’s National Broadband Network in 2011.
The sponsorship was seen as an effort to improve Huawei’s public image in the eyes of lawmakers and senior bureaucrats who created the barracks for the Canberra team.
Board of attackers Denis Richardson, former head of the Department of Defense and chief domestic spy agency, was a vocal supporter of the Australian security intelligence organization, Huawei’s sponsorship deal.
Mitchell said the government’s decision to ban Huawei from Australia’s 5G network in 2018 had a major economic impact.
Huwaway considered resuming his sponsorship partnership with the Raiders in Australia “if the business environment changes for us”, he said.
“The reality is we have gone from 1,000 employees. Next year we will have 100 employees. The 5G ban and greater Australia-China relationship have had a huge flow-on effect,” Mitchell said.
“Where we hoped our business would not go beyond 5G,” he said.
Raiders chief executive Don Furner said the team was deeply saddened by losing its main sponsor. Neither Huawei nor the team has made public the value of sponsorship.
“Canberra Raiders and Huawei have enjoyed a fantastic partnership for nearly a decade – they have been our longest serving major sponsors so far,” Ferner said.
China has lifted Huawei’s ban on Australia on condition of turning strained bilateral relations into essential infrastructure. Diplomatic relations have since deteriorated since Australia called for the origin and independent investigation of international responses to the coronovirus epidemic.
China has halted Australian barley and beef exports in recent months. China has also begun an investigation into whether Australia violated trade rules by selling liquor at unreasonably low prices on the Chinese market, an allegation that Australia denies.
Australia has angered China by prohibiting the sale of $ 430 million of the Australia-based diary business owned by the Japanese company Kirin Holdings Company to the Chinese company China Mengniu Dairy Company.
Australia says it does not want a trade war with China, its most important trading partner.
Raiders have become more successful in recent years. The Raiders were runners-up at last year’s premiere and sit fifth in the current season. He last won the premiere in 1994.
Huawei is the center of a major dispute between Washington and Beijing over technology and security. US officials say Huawei is a security risk the company denies, and is lobbying European and other partners to avoid its technology as they upgrade to the next generation of networks.
China, meanwhile, is trying to encourage Europeans to guarantee access to their markets for Chinese telecommunications and technology companies.
Huawei suffers as Washington intensifies its campaign to slam the door for access to foreign markets and components in its escalating conflict with Beijing.
European and other phone carriers buying Huawei gear are removing it from their networks despite US pressure. Huawei received good news when Samsung and Apple were introduced as the No. 1 smartphone brand in the quarter ending in June, thanks to sales in China.
Mitchell said the decision to end the Raiders’ sponsorship was due to Australian, rather than global, business conditions.