Note: this article was an April Fool's Joke. Huawei, to our knowledge, is not planning to buy Sydney Tower or the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Following the Federal Government's decision to ban Huawei from tendering for National Broadband Network contracts, it looks as if the Chinese giant may have decided to retaliate by attempting to snap up two of Sydney's most iconic landmarks.
In a leaked memo, ASIO agents have purportedly uncovered a plot by the hardware maker to purchase the Sydney Tower block from retail giant and current owner, Westfield, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the New South Wales State Government. It is believed that the landmarks would be used as components in a giant data receiver/transmitter, most likely to spread subliminal pro-Chinese messages on behalf of the Chinese Government.
According to the memo, evidence collected includes Popular Science radio diagrams, maps of greater New South Wales and a sudden huge surge of traffic to a Metacafe video entitled "Coat Hanger HDTV antenna: Better than Store Bought!"
Given the transmitting capabilities afforded by the Tower, and the unbeatable reception of the world's largest "coat hanger", ASIO agents quickly escalated their report to top echelons of the organisation.
Just what the Chinese intend to use this system for is not known for certain. Some leaked emails and poorly written memos indicate that there is a move to encourage Australians to quit their city jobs in favour of mining jobs, perhaps to increase ore shipments to China. Some encouraged support of Senator Stephen Conroy's internet filtering scheme, while still others promoted the development of North Ryde's new FahksKahn Business Park.
ASIO agents are also worried that Huawei's broadcasts only represent the first stage in a Chinese master plan that would culminate in subliminal messages being broadcast across the country, around the clock.
"Phase two would be so much more disastrous," Theo Wrist, researcher at Zilver Research told ZDNet Australia, adding that Huawei had planned to purchase spectrum in the upcoming digital dividend and use it to develop a psychic broadcast medium.
"We would end up being totally defenseless," Wrist warned, adding that the psychic control beacon could eventually be used to disarm Australian troops, opening the way for a peaceful Chinese takeover of the country.
"Imagine facing an enemy that didn't shoot back. It'd be like invading France," Wrist said.
A photo found among the leaked documents seemed to indicate that when the deal is finalised, the Sydney Tower would undergo another in a long line of rebrands, this time featuring an enormous depiction of Chairman Mao in repose.
Below the photo were the words "His calming gaze will look over all Sydney citizens, inspiring them to work harder for the good of the Homeland," in a hand notably similar to that of Huawei board member Alexander Downer.
There are nonetheless those who do not believe in the existence of any such plot. "Not even the CIA could pull something like this off," said mining magnate Clive Palmer in an email to ZDNet Australia.
The Chinese government has also vehemently denied the subliminal plot accusations, waving its arms in front of this journalist's face and proclaiming "This isn't the plot you're looking for".
We thought the only way to confirm or deny the reports was to see for ourselves, so we went to the base of the Sydney Tower to test the allegations, and we have to say that aside from having to deal with a slight ringing in the ears, we have come to the conclusion that reports of the plot are totally false, and that those swell Chinese would never ever do such a thing. Who's up for spring rolls?