Sweden has joined the list of countries that are banning Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE from participating in the country’s networks.
Huawei was one of the world’s largest provider of telecommunications equipment, with carriers all over the globe relying on its technology. In recent years, however, there have been growing concerns that Huawei and ZTE represent a significant risk to other countries’ national security. Huawei has often been accused of being an extension of Beijing’s intelligence apparatus, a claim it has vehemently denied.
The US, in particular, has waged a successful campaign to isolate Huawei, pressuring its allies to ban the firm from their networks. The UK, Australia and New Zealand have all implemented bans.
Sweden is now the latest country to ban the two firms, citing the threat China poses. According to reports, wireless carriers bidding on 5G spectrum are prohibited from using the two companies. Even existing infrastructure must have any Huawei or ZTE gear removed if the infrastructure will be used for 5G.
“China is one of the biggest threats to Sweden,” said Klas Friberg, the head of SAPO, Sweden’s domestic security service. “The Chinese state is conducting cyber espionage to promote its own economic development and develop its military capabilities. This is done through extensive intelligence gathering and theft of technology, research and development. This is what we must consider when building the 5G network of the future.”
The move is another blow to Huawei, already reeling from existing bans and sanction, but will be a big win for Nokia and Ericsson.