Ericsson CEO is concerned about Chinese retaliation after Huawei 5G ban
The head of Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson, Börje Ekholm, is concerned about Chinese retaliation after Sweden banned Huawei from participating in the rollout of 5G networks, he said on Monday.
The Swedish Post and Telecommunications Authority (PTS) announced that it excluded Huawei and ZTE, both from China, from its 5G frequency auction in late October, citing security concerns.
Already installed equipment from Chinese manufacturers must be retired before January 1, 2025.
“I hope there is no impact”, Ekholm he told Dagens Nyheter newspaper in an interview.
“China accounts for eight percent of our revenue. It has been a strategically important issue for us to be present in China,” Ekholm added.
Over the weekend, the newspaper published text messages between Ekholm and Swedish Trade Minister Anna Hallberg, asking the government to “speak” to the telecommunications regulator.
“Right now Sweden is a really bad country for Ericsson,” Ekholm complained to the minister.
PTS ‘decision “excludes our Chinese competitors in a way that no other EU The country has done it, ”he said in SMS messages obtained by the newspaper.
After the UK in mid-July, Sweden became the second European country and the first in the European Union in explicitly ban Huawei of almost all the infrastructure needed to run your 5G network.
Huawei Has taken the Swedish regulator to court for its decision, prompting the delay of the 5G auction, and Beijing has warned that the authority’s decision could have unspecified “consequences” for Scandinavian companies in China.
In his interview, Ekholm called the Swedish decision “a complication” for Ericsson, but he said he still wanted me to remain Swedish.
“Our soul is in Sweden, it is Ericsson’s base. But if Sweden does not support free trade, it is a complication for us,” he said, while noting that “we do 99 percent of our turnover outside of Sweden.”