Ericsson CEO Criticizes Swedish Authorities for Banning Huawei Equipment in 5G Networks
Börje Ekholm, CEO of Ericsson, told the Financial Times that he consider it wrong for the Swedish government to block the use of Huawei equipment in the country’s 5G networks. According to Mr. Ekholm, this will only harm fair competition and slow down the deployment of new generation networks.
Sweden imposed a ban on the use of Huawei equipment last month based on recommendations from the country’s intelligence and military command. They accused China of « extensive intelligence gathering and technology theft » and Huawei itself – of working for the Chinese government.
« Both Ericsson and Sweden as a whole – we are built on the principles of free trade… In my opinion, it is important that we have an open market and free competition, » said Mr. Ekholm. However, he noted that the best option for Sweden would be to follow the EU recommendations on this issue, which aim to balance national security with free competition.
The Swedish company became a world leader in the distribution of equipment for 5G networks after the authorities of the United States and several European countries refused Huawei services. However, Ericsson has many contracts in China and is working closely with Huawei on technology development. Therefore, experts believe that the Swedish company will simultaneously try to take advantage of the beneficial effects of several countries’ prohibitive measures against Huawei and at the same time maintain relations with the Chinese authorities, for which it may publicly condemn the Swedish government’s harsh measures against the Chinese company.