Huawei loses appeal against Swedish equipment ban

23 Jun 2021

The Administrative Court in Stockholm has dismissed Huawei’s appeal against a ban on its products being used in Sweden’s 5G mobile networks. The country’s telecoms regulator, the Post and Telecom Agency (Post & Telestyrelsen, PTS), says it welcomes the court’s decision. The ban on Huawei and ZTE equipment was included in the terms of Sweden’s auction of 5G-capable spectrum last year, with authorities claiming that the vendors’ links to the Chinese government could pose a national security risk. In addition to the block on using new equipment, existing products from the two suppliers must be removed from Swedish networks by 1 January 2025.

Huawei can challenge the administrative court’s ruling at the Court of Appeal in Stockholm, but has not yet decided on its next course of action. Kenneth Fredriksen, Executive Vice President for Central East Europe and Nordic Region at Huawei, said: ‘We respect the ruling, but are of course disappointed with the administrative court’s decision which means that we continue to be excluded from the Swedish 5G market. We have been active in Sweden for 20 years and have contributed to Swedish digitalisation. Huawei will now evaluate and analyse the ruling, its consequences for Huawei’s operations in Sweden and how we can best continue to take advantage of Huawei’s and our customers’ rights and work for our right to continue to be part of the Swedish market.’

The court’s decision could have serious ramifications for Ericsson, with the Chinese government having hinted at tit-for-tat sanctions against the Swedish equipment supplier.