Swedish Court Upholds Ban on Huawei 5G Equipment
--Sweden's Ban on Huawei 5G Equipment Upheld
--Ban Means Ericsson Could Face Retaliation by China
--Huawei Mulling Options
By Dominic Chopping
STOCKHOLM--A Swedish court late Tuesday upheld a ban on using
Huawei Technologies Co. equipment in the country's fifth-generation
networks, a move that puts rival Ericsson AB at risk of facing
retaliation by China.
The Swedish telecom regulator last October banned the use of
Huawei and ZTE Corp. telecom equipment in critical 5G-network
infrastructure due to security concerns flagged by the country's
armed forces and security police.
The regulator approved four companies to participate in
5G-spectrum auctions but told them that Huawei and ZTE products
couldn't be used in new installations of central functions, and any
existing products from the two companies must be removed.
Huawei appealed the decision in court.
"Sweden's security is an important reason and the administrative
court has taken into account that only the security police and the
armed forces together have an overall picture regarding the
security situation and the threat against Sweden," the court said
Huawei said the decision doesn't necessarily mean it is the end
of the case and it will now mull its options.
"We respect the ruling, but are of course disappointed with the
administrative court's decision which means that we continue to be
excluded from the Swedish 5G market," said Kenneth Fredriksen,
executive vice president for central east Europe and the Nordic
region at Huawei.
"Huawei will now evaluate and analyze the ruling, its
consequences for Huawei's operations in Sweden and how we can best
continue to take advantage of Huawei's and our customers' rights
and work for our right to continue to be part of the Swedish
market," Mr. Fredriksen said.
Ericsson has previously cautioned that the decision by Sweden's
telecom regulator to exclude Chinese vendors' products from the 5G
auction may adversely affect the economic interests of Sweden and
Swedish industry, including those of Ericsson.
The prospect of retaliation prompted Ericsson's Chief Executive
Borje Ekholm to mount a lobbying campaign on Huawei's behalf. He
criticized Swedish politicians and solicited lawyers to help Huawei
fight the Swedish ban. He said Ericsson gets only 1% of its sales
from Sweden, versus 8% from China, where the company also employs
13,000 people and runs a factory.
Before Tuesday's decision, Chinese Communist Party publication
The Global Times had said that Ericsson's participation in the next
round of China's massive 5G build-out is linked to whether
Stockholm changes its stance on Huawei.
Write to Dominic Chopping at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 23, 2021 05:04 ET (09:04 GMT)
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