Ericsson's setback in China linked to Sweden’s crackdown on Chinese firms: source
Published: Jul 22, 2021 10:40 PM
Ericsson. Photo: VCG

Ericsson. Photo: VCG

Swedish telecom behemoth Ericsson scored poorly in a recent 5G radio tender in China, which is linked to the Swedish government's arbitrary crackdown on Huawei and other Chinese firms, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Tender results revealed by China Mobile, the world's top mobile carrier by subscribers, showed that Ericsson settled for a mere 2 percent, down sharply from about 11 percent the year before.

In comparison, Huawei secured about 60 percent of the total tender, followed by ZTE with roughly 31 percent. Finish telecom giant Nokia, which scored zero in Chinese 5G radio contracts in 2020, got approximately 4 percent of the work, while Datang Mobile got about 3 percent. 

As for Ericsson, the lackluster result was certainly the outcome of market competition — Ericsson's 5G technologies and equipment have no edge over those of Huawei, ZTE and other contract winners, no matter in terms of quality, energy consumption or price, said the source.

More importantly, it mirrors public attitude toward Sweden's crackdown on Chinese firms, the source said.

"Without any factual basis and conclusive evidence, Sweden has cracked down on Chinese businesses, including Huawei by means of administrative orders, showing its arrogance and wickedness," the source said. "The Chinese people will never accept the behavior of smashing the bowls of Chinese firms while continuing to profit in the Chinese market."

The source noted that the Chinese government has repeatedly urged Sweden to correct its wrong decisions and provide an open, equitable, fair and non-discriminatory business environment, thereby avoiding a negative impact on China-Sweden economic and trade cooperation, and Swedish businesses' operations in China. However, Sweden, instead of stopping its wrongful actions, has been arbitrarily walking even farther along the wrong path. 

A veteran industry analyst, also told the Global Times on Thursday that he believed the drop in share was not only due to the quality issue - there are also political factors.

The Swedish government's hostile attitude toward China and restrictions on Chinese firms make its own firms suffer in China, the analyst said.

Ericsson's financial disclosure also showed that its sales in the Chinese market plunged in the second quarter.

Sweden's future China policy moves would be in focus, industry watchers said, warning the Nordic country of the consequences of further cracking down on Chinese firms.

The analyst also said that "We expect Ericsson's performance in the China market could decline further."