Huawei banned from Swedish 5G network
The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority has banned the Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE from providing equipment for the country's 5G network. It thus joins the ranks of countries like the UK and the United States which do not want to entrust China, which, experts argue, forces its companies to cooperate with its intelligence agencies, with the construction of critical infrastructure. The Swedish press welcome the decision.
Although negative consequences are to be expected in some cases, Sweden is sending an important signal, says Dagens Industri:
“It is impossible for outsiders to assess the security risks, and espionage will most probably be possible without physical equipment on site. And the commercial risks are obviously huge. There is less competition, so that 5G technology becomes more expensive for users. It is impossible to isolate China. But in one respect, the agency is absolutely right: it does not point to any secret reasons or withhold information. It has made its views clear, and that is exemplary. ... Openness helps to impart knowledge. ... Moreover, transparency is a tool democracies can use - and that China does not have.”
Applying pressure together
Countries like the US and Britain have also excluded China, Svenska Dagbladet points out, and hopes for a domino effect:
“The more countries that join in, the lower the risk of bad reactions from Beijing is. ... If enough states say no to companies that are linked to the Chinese secret service, this could induce the government in Beijing to reposition its companies. The fact that Sweden, a country the size of a medium-sized Chinese city, is excluding China makes little difference. But a united EU, together with countries like the US, Canada and Australia, could play a major role.”