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China threatens Sweden over 5G vendor ban

Sweden went ahead with its 5G spectrum auction despite legal challenges from Huawei and now China is not happy.

On the surface the rhetoric coming from the Chinese state, as reported by the government-friendly Global Times, is the standard, Pavlovian vow of retribution we’ve come to expect from the Chinese Communist Party whenever it doesn’t get its own way. But there are a few hints that it might be more than bluster and bluff this time.

Having made the obligatory, redundant vow to “take all necessary measures”, a Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesperson said the following to Chinese press: “We urge Sweden to immediately correct its approach, considering the overall position of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, and meet China halfway to find a workable solution.”

One interpretation of that coded statement could be: “Nice telecoms vendor you’ve got there, Sweden, it would be a shame if it had an accident in China.” This, of course, is the matter that has been giving Ericsson CEO nightmares and forcing him into the counter-intuitive position of lobbying his own government on behalf of Huawei.

The spokesperson went on to complain about violations of WTO and international rules, which is a bit rich coming from China but may still be accurate, and if it is then what does that mean for all ther other bans?. So will China actually do something this time, or just keep threatening? A reciprocal ban on Ericsson in China would appear to be the WMD option, so it seems more likely that we will see more symbolic, token measures taken first, if at all.

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6 comments

  1. Avatar happiman 21/01/2021 @ 4:25 pm

    This is why Biden called Xi a thug. The Asian Nazi state controlled by a group of Thugs.

  2. Avatar Nick 21/01/2021 @ 7:55 pm

    They are kicked out from entire north Europe, more over almost entire EU: Norway, Denmark, Sweden, all Baltic states, France, GB, Italy, Romania….And they threaten only Sweden? How many factories they built in Sweden during 20 years of existence? None! How many factories they built in EU? None! Have a nice trip back to China, bye, bye.

  3. Avatar Alvaro 22/01/2021 @ 10:45 am

    Sweden and EU must remove Huawei and Chinese for not complying with human rights, respect and professionalism. On Nick list Spain should take action too for a ban.

  4. Avatar Guillaume 22/01/2021 @ 5:50 pm

    Technically, they haven’t been kicked out of France ( I can’t talk for the other countries ).
    They have been limited to non sensitive areas for new radio equipments with a 3 to 8 year license that theorically can be renewed.
    The French Goverment also made it clear that it would prefer the Operators to go for European companies.

    The rest is rumors as there’s been no official statement.
    Like the one that say that the licenses won’t be renewed in Huawey case… which is probably true… and just a way to allow China to not loose face while actually performing a ban.

  5. Avatar B 23/01/2021 @ 6:21 am

    The article is very biased. What you have written is called projection. You have put your words in the mouth of the Chinese spokesperson. In your imagination the Chinese spokesperson sounds like a criminal. Do you have any proof that they really meant what you stated in the article?
    You have never even tried to find an answer to the question why Swedish army recommended that Huawei should be excluded, did you?
    Some other EU countries, like Germany, will let Huawei participate in the auction and then impose conditions on the properties of the future network. Why has Sweden chosen the blunt approach?

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