Sweden‘s telecommunications regulator on Tuesday (19) formally excluded two Chinese communications companies, huawei and ZTE, from bidding for 5G networks after the country’s highest administrative court rejected Huawei’s appeal. Current commentators believe Sweden is finally putting national security and the safety of its people first, and represents the backlash of mainstream Swedish public opinion against the Communist Party’s bullying diplomacy.
The Swedish Telecommunications Supervisory Authority (PTS) officially opened the bidding for the 5G network on Tuesday (19), with Huawei and ZTE being completely excluded from the bid, which was delayed for months by Huawei’s appeal.
Last Friday (15), Sweden’s highest administrative court ruled in the final instance to reject Huawei’s appeal, in other words, Huawei has no right to file another appeal to pave the way for a smooth bid for 5G spectrum.
Swedish commentator and secretary-general of the Independent Chinese PEN Association Zhang Yu told the station that Sweden made such a sober choice, in addition to Huawei’s threat to national security, to counter the diplomatic bullying of Sweden by the Chinese Communist Party in recent years. The Chinese ambassador to Sweden provoked Sweden with his “War Wolf diplomacy” and imprisoned Swedish bookseller Gui Minhai, which caused a backlash from mainstream Swedish public opinion.
Zhang Yu said: Sweden has the highest perspective on national security. Sweden’s tough attitude toward Huawei also represents the position of mainstream Swedish public opinion, mainly to the Chinese government’s backlash against Sweden’s strong foreign policy in recent years. The main example, our PEN member Gui Minhai was heavily sentenced as a Swedish citizen; in addition, the Chinese ambassador to Sweden, Gui Zongyou, interfered and threatened Sweden in a war-wolf style, which of course played a role in the backlash.
Zhang Yu also said that Sweden puts national security interests above economic interests and hopes that Sweden’s actions will serve as a model for the EU. The EU also has a very good alternative to Huawei, which can be replaced by Sweden’s Ericsson or Finland’s Nokia.
Zhang Yu said: Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia, at least for the EU countries, should be an alternative to Huawei. No matter from the economic point of view, technical point of view, political point of view, or national security point of view, Sweden is a certain demonstration role.
According to French commentator Wang Longmeng, Sweden’s decision should be a model for the whole EU. He also criticized Germany, France and other countries, not only to Huawei indecisive, and even to promote the “China-EU Investment Agreement”, most likely to leave a loophole for Huawei to enter the EU.
Wang Longmeng said: In recent years, Sweden has been clearly aware of the Communist Party’s bullying and expansion and penetration of democratic countries. As a relatively small country in the EU, they put national security and information security of citizens first, instead of focusing only on China’s market and interests. Hopefully, Germany and France, the more leading countries in the EU, will follow suit. In addition, this also gives a warning to the pending “China-EU investment agreement”, Huawei as a Chinese Communist spy company is likely to bring security risks to European countries under the “protection” of such an agreement.
It is reported that Telia, the Swedish company involved in the bid, has announced that it will no longer work with Huawei, but will instead support Nokia and Ericsson. Huawei has yet to respond to the incident.
Last October, the Swedish Telecommunications Regulatory Authority announced that it would ban Huawei and ZTE from participating in the construction of the country’s 5G network due to security risks, and required companies participating in the 5G network bid to completely remove Huawei and ZTE equipment from existing infrastructure and core functions by January 1, 2025.
Subsequently, Huawei Sweden appealed the conditions attached to the auction to the Swedish Administrative Court in Stockholm, which ruled on November 9 to suspend the ban on Huawei and ZTE.
Huawei had also previously conducted a series of “public relations” campaigns against the Swedish government. The Chinese Embassy in Sweden also helped Huawei. China’s ambassador to Sweden, Gui Congyou, urged the Swedish government in November last year that the ban on Huawei and ZTE must be withdrawn, otherwise China would most likely sanction Swedish telecommunications companies, especially Ericsson China.
Earlier this month, Swedish media revealed that Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm had sent several letters to the country’s foreign trade minister, Anna Hallberg, pressuring the government to lift the 5G ban on Huawei, saying that the ban “threatens Sweden’s relations with other countries” and that Ericsson would consider leaving Sweden if the government did not lift the ban.