Stockholm [Sweden]July 23 (ANI): A Swedish court has granted a ban on the Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies to sell 5G equipment in the country, following Stockholm’s decision to ban the company in October last year.
Sweden’s regulatory authority, Post and Telecom Authority, banned the company together with its Chinese counterpart ZTE from the network in October due to security issues on the recommendation of the country’s intelligence services. Huawei lost its first appeal in December, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.
A Huawei representative said the company was “disappointed” with the court’s ruling, adding that it “was not the final decision” in the company’s case.
“We are currently studying the judgment and the reasoning of the court to determine what additional remedies should be taken to protect our legitimate rights and interests. Our door is still open for constructive dialogues with stakeholders to develop practical solutions to alleviate any security concerns,” said a statement from the company.
It added that the regulator had “failed to present any facts or evidence to show that Huawei’s equipment has technical safety issues”.
This is the latest blow to Huawei’s European plans following a series of bans on the continent. The company was banned from participating in Romania’s 5G rollout, citing security risks, the SCMP reported.
Last year, the United Kingdom had banned the installation of Huawei 5G equipment from September 2021 and further ordered Huawei to be phased out of its 5G network by 2027, in the footsteps of the United States.
Other European countries, including France and Germany, have lifted a ban on Huawei. In July last year, the EU encouraged Member States to stop using providers that could contribute to cybersecurity risks, a measure that was widely considered to target Chinese companies.
However, the Swedish court’s decision to enforce the ban will raise speculation that Swedish giant Ericsson, both a competitor and a customer of Huawei, will face retaliation in China, according to the SCMP.
In response to questions about the Swedish ban on Huawei and ZTE, China had said in January that it would “take all necessary measures” to defend its companies abroad.
“We call on Sweden to immediately correct its approach, given the overall position of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, and meet with China halfway to find a workable solution,” said former Foreign Ministry spokesman Gao Feng.
According to Swedish media, Ericsson’s CEO had lobbied Anna Hallberg, the country’s trade minister, after the ban on Huawei to say that the ban would be “bad for Ericsson” because it “excludes our Chinese competitor in a way that no other EU country has done”.
This also comes when Swedish companies met blowback in China this year. The Swedish clothing giant HM saw a consumer boycott after it announced that it would not use cotton from the western Chinese region of Xinjiang due to the suspected use of forced labor.
“Even though the Chinese government did not consciously try to send a signal to Sweden with the HM boycott, people in Sweden saw it – it was big news here. There is a general expectation that economic retaliation from China due to the Huawei case will be possible, says Björn Jerden, head of the Swedish National China Center.
Earlier this month, the Biden administration included Huawei in a list of 59 Chinese companies it said had links to China’s military or surveillance industry, preventing US units from investing in them.
“With China increasingly represented by Wolf Warrior diplomats, Huawei’s reassurance that its roles in critical infrastructure – including 5G – do not look reassuring enough for democracies that are not friends of Trump,” said Steve Tsang, China’s chief executive. Institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.
The US Innovation and Competition Act, which has earmarked $ 54.2 billion to strengthen US expertise on a number of technical fronts, has omitted China’s Huawei Technologies from a list of restricted devices and bans access to US hardware and software. (ANI)