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Huawei excluded from Sweden’s 5G rollout after court ruling

Sweden said in October it would ban Huawei, ZTE from its 5G network over security concerns

Huawei logo at Shenzhen International Airport (Reuters photo)

Huawei logo at Shenzhen International Airport (Reuters photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Sweden will proceed with the construction of its 5G network without Huawei after a recent court ruling upheld the decision to ban the Chinese telecoms giant.

Swedish telecoms regulator Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) said Dec. 18 that it would resume 5G spectrum auctions on Jan. 19 after winning court approval to proceed despite protests from Huawei and the Chinese government. A Swedish court on Dec. 16 backed an appeal by PTS against a previous ruling to stop the auction but said Huawei could challenge its exclusion from the 5G rollout, Reuters reported.

Sweden in October said it would ban Huawei and ZTE from its 5G network over security concerns and gave companies involved in the auctions until Jan. 1, 2025, to remove Chinese kit from existing infrastructure and core functions, according to the report. Swedish authorities were then forced to stop the auctions after a challenge from Huawei led to a court injunction.

In response to the appeals court ruling, China’s ambassador to Stockholm, Gui Congyou (桂從友), said he still hopes Sweden will provide a “non-discriminatory” business environment for Chinese companies, and he dismissed the Nordic country's security concerns, according to SCMP. “We urge the Swedish side to immediately correct this unfounded wrong direction,” Gui said during an interview with Swedish newspaper Expressen, adding: “We should not talk about democracy, justice, and the rule of law, but aim at others instead of ourselves.”

In a survey conducted in September and October, 82 percent of Swedes said advancing human rights and democratic reform in China was the highest policy priority, the South China Morning Post reported. Only 20 percent said China should be allowed to participate in the construction of Sweden’s 5G network.

The auctions, which are vital for the development of 5G in Sweden, have been delayed twice — first for a security review and again because of Huawei’s legal challenge.

The U.S. has been pushing its allies to ban Huawei from their 5G networks, saying that the company’s close relations with the Chinese Communist Party could be used for spying. Huawei has repeatedly denied it would allow this to occur.