Huawei challenges Swedish ban

Industry News

Chinese vendor Huawei has continued its fight back against its exclusion from European markets by launching a legal challenge to the Swedish decision.

A couple of weeks ago the Swedish comms regulator made its 5G auction conditional on the winners not using Huawei or ZTE kit – in other words, a ban. The usual security-related reasons were cited and it looked like Huawei was going to just accept it in the same way it has the UK one.

But now Reuters reports that Huawei has launched a formal appeal against the decision with the Swedish regulator. “What happens now is we will send the appeal to the administrative court of Stockholm,” a PTS spokesperson told Reuters. “After that, they will handle this case.”

Reuters also got a quote out of Huawei on the matter. “We think the decision that has been taken is not good for customers nor for Sweden in general,” said Kenneth Fredriksen, Huawei’s EVP of Central East Europe and the Nordics. “We therefore want a Swedish court to look at if the decision has been taken through a proper process and according to the law.”

Why do companies always have to pretend that their own interests are perfectly aligned with the public good? Does Fredriksen really expect anyone to believe Huawei is acting out of concern for Sweden, rather than its own commercial interests? Huawei would probably get more sympathy if it was honest and just said “We think this was a bullshit decision, so we’re fighting it.”

Crude spin aside, Huawei has every right to insist it is granted all the legal due-process protections everyone else gets and to challenge those countries that have banned it to prove they have done so. This appeal represents another front for Huawei’s European legal counter-offensive, which already features Poland, Romania and Estonia. Presumably Sweden got its legal ducks in a row before making this decision, but that process will now be subject to much greater scrutiny.

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