In a major setback to top Chinese telecom gear maker, Huawei, a Swedish court has upheld a ban on the company from selling 5G equipment in Sweden. The Chinese equipment maker is already facing difficulties across the global markets following a ban slapped on the company’s 5G technology by the US administration.
The ban has also dashed Huawei’s hopes of staging a comeback in Europe and increasing the chances of potential retaliation by China against rival Ericsson. Among the important markets where the Chinese company is steering at a ban also include India, Canada and other EU countries apart from the US, UK and other western countries that have already banned the company.
Romania is the latest country that in effect barred China and Huawei from taking part in the development of its 5G telecommunication networks in the country.
Earlier in October last year, Swedish telecom regulator PTS banned Huawei from supplying 5G equipment to Swedish mobile firms due to security concerns raised by Sweden’s security service SAPO, a decision the Chinese company challenged in the court.
“Sweden’s security is of heavy importance and the administrative court has taken into account that only the Security Police and the armed forces together have an overall picture regarding the security situation and the threat to Sweden,” the court said in a statement.
Huawei said it was considering its options. “It’s not unexpected based on the fact that the court is also leading their conclusions on basically the assumptions being made by SAPO,” Kenneth Fredriksen, Huawei’s Executive Vice President, Central East Europe and Nordic Region said.
“We will continue to fight for our right to be in the (Swedish) market.” European governments have been tightening controls on Chinese companies building 5G networks following diplomatic pressure from Washington, which alleges Huawei equipment could be used by Beijing for spying. Huawei has repeatedly denied being a national security risk.
Huawei’s troubles have not only helped companies like Nokia and Ericsson to grab market share in Europe, but Samsung Electronics also made its entry into the continent by signing British telecoms group Vodafone as a customer for supplying 5G network equipment.
Meanwhile, China has asked Sweden to “immediately correct the mistake” of banning Huawei and issued a veiled warning this month that it might take retaliatory action against Ericsson.