China to take counter-measure against Sweden over excluding Huawei, ZTE from 5G rollout
Published: Jan 21, 2021 05:03 PM

Gao Feng, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, calls on reporters to ask questions at a press briefing in Beijing on Thursday. Photo: Wang Cong/GT

China will "take all necessary measures" to firmly safeguard Chinese firms' legitimate rights, in response to Sweden's recent move to exclude China's Huawei and ZTE from its 5G network rollout, China's Commerce Ministry said on Thursday.

"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," Gao Feng, spokesperson of China's Ministry of Commerce, told a regular press conference in Beijing on Thursday.

The comments come as Swedish telecom operators have completed a 5G spectrum auction with the exclusion of Chinese equipment makers including Huawei and ZTE on Tuesday.

The auction, which was delayed twice - once for security review and the second time over a lawsuit filed by Huawei - started on Tuesday and concluded the same day, according to a Reuters report.

"We have noticed that Sweden has excluded companies from certain countries from joining its 5G spectrum auctions", Gao said, adding that, in the disguise of "national security", the move of banning Chinese firms from the 5G networks in Sweden, has violated the basic principles of the WTO and international rules.

China strongly opposes the move, which has harmed the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies, said the spokesperson.

In a surprise move in October, Sweden's telecom regulator PTS banned the use of equipment from Huawei and ZTE by its telecom operators.

Huawei in January appealed against a decision by the Administrative Court of Appeal that allowed Swedish telecom regulator PTS to resume 5G spectrum auctions without removing a ban on Huawei, and the appeal was dismissed by a Swedish court last week.

"We are even willing to meet the extraordinary requirements set by the regulator, including setting up test facilities for our equipment in Sweden, for example, if they want to," Kenneth Fredriksen, Huawei's Executive Vice President, Central East Europe and Nordic Region, told Reuters on December 7.

Global Times