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My views on the Financial Times article “Sweden bans Huawei and ZTE from 5G telecoms networks”

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Graham Perry
Graham Perry
Experienced Arbitration Lawyer | China & Chinese Business Affairs | Public Speaker/Lecturer.

Sweden has joined the US, UK and other countries in banning Huawei and ZTE from its 5G mobile networks. Sweden justified its actions on grounds of “Beijing’s spying and theft of technology”. No examples provided.

There are three explanations;-
first, China has spied as claimed – but no evidence.
second, Sweden is home to Huawei’s biggest rival, Ericsson, and is protecting “one of its own”.
third, Sweden is falling in with US/UK.

This is part of a Trump inspired policy to “de-couple” from China. Cut China adrift in the hope that collective action will punish China and bring sufficient pain to force it to change its national and international policies.

If, however, there are concerns that regardless of China’s embrace of capitalism it is still one country where every individual reports into the Party then China can tough it out and see “de-coupling” as a temporary phenomenon or China can find a way to assure Western countries that Chinese companies are independent operating entities.

China knows how to adjust and adapt; how to allow, for example, direct foreign ownership of assets, and mergers and acquisitions as a growing feature of trade with China. At the same time China recognises an insult and knows how to bide its time.

To read the FT’s article you can find it here.

Graham Perry

October 2020

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