China would consider imposing trade restrictions on Ericsson and Nokia’s businesses in the nation if European Union countries yielded to US pressure by banning Huawei equipment from 5G networks, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
The newspaper stated China’s Ministry of Commerce is considering adding export controls which would block Ericsson and Nokia shipping equipment made in the country. A source told WSJ the sanctions would only be approved in a worst-case scenario following any restrictions on Chinese 5G equipment.
Richard Windsor, founder of research blog Radio Free Mobile, said blocking the companies’ exports would be self-defeating and accelerate migration of manufacturing from the mainland, which will cost Chinese jobs and incentivise other companies to leave.
China last week condemned a UK decision to ban Huawei from 5G network deployments: Ministry of Commerce representative Gao Feng reportedly said it would take “necessary measures” to protect domestic businesses.
Nokia and Ericsson were awarded small slices of various standalone 5G tenders from the country’s three mobile operators since the beginning of the year.
While both make some equipment in China, sources told WSJ they could get around any export controls by shifting production to facilities elsewhere.
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