Xenophon sees the company as “underdogs” and will be representing Huawei in the media.
He will seek to overturn the government’s ban on its involvement in the 5G network.
Huawei was banned from being involved in the new network over security concerns, with the telco linked to the Chinese government.
“Huawei is fed up with this and that’s why we are acting for them,” Xenophon said.
The company said Xenophon would be part of its new “strategic counsel” to defend the company locally against reputational damage.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said banning Huawei from the new network, and any operators that could be influenced by foreign governments, was done in Australia’s national security interests.
“And we stand by it and it was not directed at any one operator,” Morrison told media in Canberra on Monday.
“I wish Nick all the best in his new employment and it sounds like he’s prosecuting his case. It’s a free country.”
Huawei has been blacklisted in the United States and was also banned from joining New Zealand’s 5G rollout.
Xenophon left federal politics in 2017 to make a failed bid at South Australian parliament in 2018, but his Centre Alliance party holds crucial crossbench power in Canberra.
Want to comment?
Send us an email, making it clear which story you’re commenting on and including your full name (required for publication) and phone number (only for verification purposes). Please put “Reader views” in the subject.
We’ll publish the best comments in a regular “Reader Views” post. Your comments can be brief, or we can accept up to 350 words, or thereabouts.
Local News Matters
Media diversity is under threat in Australia – nowhere more so than in South Australia. The state needs more than one voice to guide it forward and you can help with a donation of any size to InDaily. Your contribution goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. Please click below to help InDaily continue to uncover the facts.