Sweden should reverse its ban on the use of telecom equipment from Chinese producers Huawei and ZTE in its 5G networks if it wants to avoid complications for Swedish companies working in China, Beijing said.
“The Swedish side without any evidence, has discredited China and cracked down on China’s telecom companies,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said of the ban during a press briefing Wednesday.
He added that “an objective and fair attitude” should be adopted by Sweden instead, and called on the country to “address its wrong decision so as to avoid negative impacts to normal economic and trade cooperation between the two sides and avoid bringing any negative impacts to Swedish companies’ operations in China.”
The warning from Beijing came after Sweden on Tuesday forbade its operators from relying on telecom equipment from Huawei and ZTE in the construction of the country’s 5G networks. The move was explained in light of security concerns, with the Swedish Security Service insisting that the Chinese government and intelligence services “can influence and exert pressure” on the two companies.
Huawei blasted the “unfair and unacceptable” ban as “based on groundless presumption,” in an earlier statement. The company said “it will not make Swedish 5G networks any more secure. Rather, competition and innovation will be severely hindered.”
Swedish telecom giant Ericsson is Huawei’s biggest rival in the field of cellular radio equipment, not only on the international, but also the Chinese market. Ericsson is now building 5G networks for three of China’s top cell phone operators, and derives 10 percent of its sales from the country.
The attack on Huawei in Sweden comes amid a US-China trade war and increasing pressure by Washington on its allies to exclude Chinese companies from their 5G projects.
Earlier on Wednesday, an American delegation arrived in Brazil, offering the country a $1 billion deal which includes loans and guarantees to fund imports of US products, “especially, in the telecommunications area and the important 5G modern telecommunications network.”
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