INDUSTRIAL TIES in between Ericsson and China date back to the 1890 s, when the Swedish business offered 2,000 telephones to Shanghai. Now, fears Borje Ekholm, Ericsson’s employer, those bonds are in jeopardy, as an outcome of the Swedish federal government’s anti-Chinese turn.
After centuries of cordial relations– from the Swedish East India Company’s ships sailing between Gothenburg and Guangzhou in the 18 th century to Sweden’s early acknowledgment of the People’s Republic in 1950 and its blessing in 2010 of the Chinese takeover of Volvo, a much-loved carmaker– the state of mind has changed. Last October the Swedish telecoms regulator barred Huawei, Ericsson’s Chinese competitor, from the country’s rapid 5G mobile networks, citing “theft of technology” by China. This month, after an auction of Sweden’s 5G radio spectrum that prohibited the winners from utilizing package from Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese provider, China’s commerce ministry hinted that the ban might compromise bilateral financial ties.
That would be bad news for Ericsson, which derives 13%of its profits from China. It is the only foreign business that offers China with particular kinds of 5G set– which China is well ahead of a lot of other nations in installing, thanks to gargantuan amounts carried into …
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