Huawei: New Zealand needs us like rugby needs the All Blacks

Huawei is playing on New Zealanders' love of sport with an advert it hopes will soften the rugby-mad nation's stance towards using the Chinese giant's technology.

The advertisement has appeared in two major newspapers and on billboards.

It read: "5G without Huawei is like rugby without New Zealand."

New Zealand is one of several nations to block the use of Huawei equipment for building a new 5G mobile phone network over security concerns.

In November, New Zealand's intelligence services, followed other countries' lead, in concluding Huawei technology should not be used in the country's roll-out of next-generation 5G network, citing "significant national security risks".

Huawei told Radio New Zealand the concerns were "groundless" but it had chosen to tackle the problem in what it described as "a quirky way" to appeal to New Zealanders' better judgement. The firm argued consumers would lose out if its technology was sidelined.

"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," Huawei said.