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Sweden pushes ahead with 5G network building without Huawei amid icy relation with China

ANI | Updated: Dec 23, 2020 07:09 IST

Stockholm [Sweden], December 23 (ANI): Amid deteriorating relations with China, Sweden has decided to build its own 5G Network without Chinese firm Huawei.

The decision to exclude Huwaei was taken in the line of the latest public opinion polls in Sweden, which called for advancing human rights and democratic reform in China as the highest policy priority, South China Morning Post reported.

The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) said on Friday it would resume its next-generation telecoms auctions next month after an appeals court upheld an October decision to ban Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE from its networks on security grounds.

In October, the PTS said it has banned the use of telecommunications equipment of Chinese tech giants Huawei and ZTE from the development of 5G networks in Sweden at the recommendation of the country's military.

According to Sputnik, the decision is of a larger licensing process to select companies that will develop Sweden's 5G networks and set out the conditions of their services.

According to the press release, four companies were selected -- Hi3G Access, Net4Mobility, Telia Sverige and Teracom.

The American intelligence community has accused Huawei of plotting to steal data transmitted through it is hardware, and US officials last February claimed to have evidence of Huawei's ability to steal information, in the form of a "back door" for law enforcement monitoring of communications, reported Asia Times.

In August 2018, US President Donald Trump signed a decree that barred US departments from using network equipment made by Huawei and ZTE for national security reasons. Last July, the UK government said the country's 5G networks would also be Huawei-free starting from January 2021 to the end of 2027.

In response to the appeals court upholding the ban, Beijing’s ambassador to Stockholm, Gui Congyou, said he still hoped Sweden would provide a “non-discriminatory” business environment for Chinese companies, and dismissed Sweden’s security concerns.

“We urge the Swedish side to immediately correct this unfounded wrong decision,” Gui said in an interview with Swedish newspaper Expressen. “We should not talk about democracy, justice and the rule of law, but aim at others instead of ourselves.”

In a poll in September and October, 82 per cent favoured advancing human rights and democratic reform in China as the highest policy priority. Only 20 per cent said China should be involved in building Sweden’s 5G infrastructure. (ANI)