The administrative court in Stockholm ruled that the decision of the Swedish telecoms authority, PTS, to ban the use of equipment from Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE in a new Swedish 5G telecom network last October — a move that irked Beijing — was legal.
Equipment already installed must also be removed by January 1st, 2025.
“Sweden’s security is an important reason and the administrative court has considered that it’s only the security police and the military that together have a full picture when it comes to the security situation and threats against Sweden,” judge Ulrika Melin said in a statement.
Huawei denounced the ruling, but did not say whether it would appeal.
“We are of course noting that there has been no evidence of any wrongdoings by Huawei which is being used as basis for this verdict, it is purely based on assumption,” Kenneth Fredriksen, the company’s vice-president for Central, Eastern Europe and the Nordic region, told AFP.
Huawei will now evaluate the decision and the “see what kind of actions we will take to protect our rights,” Fredriksen added.
After the UK in the summer of 2020, Sweden became the second country in Europe and the first in the EU to explicitly ban Huawei from almost all of the network infrastructure needed to run its 5G network.
Beijing had warned that PTS’ decision could have “consequences” for the Scandinavian country’s companies in China, prompting Swedish telecom giant and Huawei competitor Ericsson to worry about retaliation.
“We will continue to be available to have constructive dialogues with Swedish authorities to see if we can find pragmatic ways of taking care of security and at the same time keeping an open and fair market like Sweden has always been,” Fredriksen said.