Beijing is giving Sweden one last chance to reverse its ban on telecommunications-equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co., a Chinese state media outlet said, before it could retaliate against rival Ericsson AB.
Ericsson’s participation in the next round of China’s massive 5G build-out is linked to whether Stockholm changes its stance on Huawei, according to the Global Times, a Chinese Communist Party publication.
Swedish regulators banned wireless carriers from using the Chinese company’s 5G equipment in October, citing national-security concerns. Huawei is challenging the decision in Swedish courts, with a ruling expected in the coming weeks.
A spokesman for Stockholm-based Ericsson declined to comment. A spokesman for Sweden’s foreign-trade ministry didn’t respond to requests for comment. Ericsson shares were down nearly 4% Tuesday, trading slightly lower than its peers amid a broadly lower tech market.
The warning in the Chinese media is the latest example of Beijing using the heft of its domestic market to protect its business and foreign-policy interests. China last year restricted imports of Australian wine, beef and other goods after Australia enacted its own Huawei ban and called for an investigation of Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.