Ericsson worried about Chinese retaliation over Huawei ban
Ericsson worried about Chinese retaliation over Huawei ban

Börje Ekholm, president of Swedish telecom giant Börje Ekholm, said he was concerned about China's retaliation after Sweden banned Huawei from participating in the rollout of the 5G network.

The Swedish Post and Telecommunications Administration (PTS) announced that Huawei and ZTE from China were banned from auctions for the 5G spectrum at the end of October due to security reasons.

Equipment installed by a Chinese manufacturer must be dismantled before January 1, 2025.

Although China warned in October that Swedish companies could be negatively affected, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven stressed that the Swedish government had insisted on the ban.

The ban came after an assessment by Swedish police and military authorities concluded that the influence of the Chinese state could push private companies to align Communist Party goals and strategies.

"I hope there will be no impact. China accounts for 8% of our sales and our presence in China is strategic for us," Ekholm said in an interview.

The newspaper published a text message between Ekholm and Swedish Trade Minister Anna Holberg asking the government to speak to the communications regulator.

Eckholm complained to the minister: Sweden is a bad country for Ericsson at the moment. The Swedish Post and Telecom (PTS) has decided to exclude our Chinese competitors in a way that no other country in the European Union has done.

After the United Kingdom in mid-July, Sweden became the second and first European country in the European Union to explicitly ban all the infrastructure Huawei needs to operate 5G networks.

Huawei sued the Swedish regulator over its decision, which led to the postponement of the 5G auction. Beijing has warned that the agency's decision may have unresolved consequences for Scandinavian companies in China.

In an interview, Eckholm described Sweden's decision as a job by Erikson, but said he still wanted to keep his identity as a Swedish.

He said: Our soul is in Sweden, this is the rule of Ericsson, but if Sweden does not support free trade then this is a problem for us and he indicated that we have reached 99% of our income outside Sweden.

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