The European Union (EU) will defer making a decision on whether to launch a controversial anti-dumping case against Chinese vendors until after China Mobile selects winners for its tender for the construction Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) networks, the Financial Times writes. The EU is contemplating launching a case against Huawei and ZTE for using government subsidies, in the form of cheap credit from state banks to both the two vendors and their customers, to offer goods and services at unfairly low prices. European vendors spoke out against the plans, fearing that moving against the duo would harm commercial opportunities in China.
Karel Du Gucht, the EU trade commissioner and previously one of the most vocal advocates of challenging the Chinese companies, is inclined to abandon the case should European companies be awarded a healthy share of China Mobile’s tender for the supply of some more than 200,000 TD-LTE base stations. Du Gucht threatened to launch a legal challenge against the duo on his own, rather than based on a complaint from an EU-based company. However, he has received little support from EU countries and the recent resolution of a similar dispute – over the sale of Chinese-made solar panels in Europe – has further weakened the case. In January this year, Chinese diplomats complained to EU member states that the commissioner had demanded that European companies receive a 30% share of China’s network equipment market, in exchange for dropping his investigation into Huawei and ZTE. However a spokesperson for De Gucht claims that the Chinese officials had either misunderstood or misrepresented his views.