Sweden bans Huawei and ZTE from providing 5G equipment

Sweden bans Huawei and ZTE from providing 5G equipment

Furthermore, the USA government has also pressured other nations to follow suit with the ban, which was the case with the United Kingdom that is planning on replacing all Huawei equipment from the country's infrastructure by 2027.

According to media reports, a South Korean diplomat revealed that in the fifth South Korea-U.S. strategic economic dialogue held on October 14, the U.S. side reiterated the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's proposed "clean network" plan, in the name of national security risks, to pressure South Korea to stop using Huawei and other Chinese technology companies' 5G equipment.

"China is one of the biggest threats to Sweden", said Klas Friberg, head of Sweden's security services.

"The Chinese market is open to European companies including Swedish companies, but the Swedish side without any evidence, has discredited China and cracked down on China's telecoms companies", Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

"Sweden should uphold an objective and fair attitude, and correct its wrong decision, to avoid bringing a negative impact to China-Sweden economic and trade cooperation and the operations of Swedish enterprises in China", said Zhao.

The Swedish decision comes ahead of potentially tough new restrictions in Germany, one of Huawei's largest markets, set to be introduced in the coming weeks as more European governments seek a way to balance the need to invest in new wireless networks against USA pressure to ban Chinese suppliers. "The ban leaves network operators with less options and risks slowing the rollout of 5G in markets where competition is reduced", said Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight.

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Sweden is home to Ericsson, one of Europe's leading telecoms equipment suppliers and Huawei's biggest rival.

The outspoken stance may be because, outside of the concerns about Huawei itself, Sweden has other reasons to see China as a threat.

Sweden's stern warning comes after a Chinese decision this year to sentence Gui Minhai, a Swedish citizen, to 10 years in prison. Gui was initially released in October 2017, after almost two years in custody, only to be abducted again in January 2018 while on a train to Beijing - in the presence of Swedish diplomats, no less.

Italy has put up costly bureaucratic hurdles for operators using high-risk vendors, making it uneconomical to choose Huawei or ZTE.

It said Tuesday that it did not foresee any problem in meeting the deadline to fulfill the new security conditions and instead hailed the decision to proceed with auctions of 5G spectrum next month after several delays.

Two of Canada's largest telecoms firms teamed up in June with Ericsson and Nokia to build 5G networks, ditching Huawei for the project.

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