China urges Sweden to lift its ZTE ban on Huawei

Sweden should lift its ban on Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE from a planned 5G spectrum auction to avoid “negative effects” on its own companies, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

“China expresses strong dissatisfaction with Sweden,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular press conference in Beijing on Wednesday.

The Swedish Post and Telecommunications Authority (PTS) on Tuesday banned the use of Huawei and ZTE products by companies participating in the auction scheduled for next month.

“Sweden should maintain an objective and fair stance and correct its wrong decision in order to avoid negative effects on economic and trade cooperation between China and Sweden and the business of Swedish companies in China,” said Zhao.

PTS said it followed the advice of the country’s armed forces and security services, which China identified as “one of the greatest threats to Sweden”.

European governments tightened controls on Chinese companies building 5G networks in response to diplomatic pressure from Washington claiming Huawei devices could be used by Beijing for spying.

Huawei has repeatedly denied being a national security risk.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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