China prepares to retaliate against Nokia and Ericsson in retaliation for Huawei

China plans to impose sanctions on European telecom equipment manufacturers Nokia and Ericsson if Huawei is banned from participating in the creation of fifth-generation mobile networks in the European Union, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.

China’s Ministry of Commerce is considering tightening export controls to prevent Nokia and Ericsson from selling Chinese-made products to third countries.

The source of the publication reports that such measures will be introduced in the event that Chinese companies are blocked from access to trade in 5G equipment with EU countries.

Earlier, the UK authorities announced that they would prohibit the use of Huawei equipment in the construction of infrastructure for fifth generation communication networks. This can be considered a victory for the Donald Trump administration: Washington insisted that European allies apply the same restrictions to the Chinese IT giant as the United States.

The United States has long pushed Johnson to overturn a January decision to grant Huawei a limited role in 5G. The UK has designated Huawei as a “high-risk vendor” by limiting its 5G market share to 35% and excluding it from the data-heavy part of the network.

The British National Security Council (NSC), chaired by Johnson, decided to ban the purchase of 5G components from the end of this year and ordered the replacement of Huawei equipment with 5G networks by 2027.

Officials at the National Center for Cybersecurity (NCSC) studied the impact of the US measures announced in May, which are designed to limit Huawei’s ability to obtain the advanced microchips needed to manufacture 5G equipment and flagship smartphones. GCHQ told ministers that it can no longer guarantee a stable supply of Huawei equipment after the US imposed new sanctions on chip manufacturing.

Perhaps, the position of the country’s leadership was also influenced by the recent steps of Beijing towards Hong Kong: the new law introduced penalties for the inhabitants of this territory for criticizing the Chinese authorities and allowed them to be extradited to mainland China. Until 1997, Hong Kong was a British colony, after which the territory was transferred to China on the condition that the existing socio-economic order is preserved there, as well as the rights and freedoms of citizens are respected.

Huawei’s critics warn that the company has close ties to the Chinese government and that Beijing may use its network equipment to spy on or disrupt critical infrastructure.

As a result, the UK government announced that new purchases of Huawei equipment for the construction of 5G networks in the country will be banned from December 2020, and by 2027, the already installed equipment should be replaced with analogues from other manufacturers.