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Huawei takes Sweden to court over 5G ban

Chinese tech giant Huawei has initiated arbitration proceedings against Sweden after the Nordic country banned it from rolling out 5G.

A technician stands at the entrance to a Huawei 5G data center at the Guangdong Second Provincial General Hospital in Guangzhou, in southern China's Guangdong province, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. The hospital in southern China's Guangdong Province is using 5G and IoT technologies to collect, transmit and monitor more data in real time, allowing healthcare workers to provide better medical service for patients. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
In 2020, Sweden banned network operators from using Huawei equipment in the buildup of 5G infrastructure. Photo: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

“The Swedish authorities’ decision to discriminate against Huawei and exclude it from the 5G rollout has significantly harmed Huawei’s investment in Sweden, in breach of Sweden’s international obligations,” the Chinese company said in a statement to AFP.

The company had therefore “initiated arbitration proceedings” under the World Bank Group’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) “against the Kingdom of Sweden following a number of measures taken by the Swedish authorities targeting directly Huawei’s investments in Sweden and excluding Huawei from the rollout of 5G network products and services in the country,” Huawei added.

Huawei did not specify what damages it was seeking, but according to public broadcaster SVT, the initial sum sought was 5.2 billion Swedish kroner ($550 million), but it could end up being much higher.

Following the UK in mid-2020, Sweden became the second country in Europe and the first in the EU to explicitly ban network operators from using Huawei equipment in the buildup of the infrastructure needed to run its 5G network.

Sweden also ordered Huawei to remove already installed equipment by January 1st, 2025.

After an appeal from Huawei a Swedish court confirmed the decision by Sweden’s Post and Telecom Authority in June 2021.

The decision strained relations between Sweden and China, with Beijing at the time warning that PTS’s decision could have “consequences” for the Scandinavian country’s companies in China, prompting Swedish telecom giant and Huawei competitor Ericsson to fear retaliation.

Member comments

  1. Stand up for Sweden.
    Ban Huawei.
    Scummy and crooked. Can’t figure out why any Swede would work for Huawei.

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SAS

SAS strike affected 380,000 passengers in July

More than 3,700 flights where cancelled and 380,000 passengers where affected by the 15-day strike which hit Scandinavia's SAS airline last month, the company has revealed.

SAS strike affected 380,000 passengers in July

“We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected by the July strike,” Anko van der Werff, the company’s chief executive, said in a press release. “We are happy operations returned to normality again allowing us to start regaining our customers’ trust.”

According to the release, 1.3 million passengers travelled with the airline in July, which was still a 23 percent increase on the same month last year, when Covid-19 restrictions were still reducing tourism levels.

“In comparison with last month, the total number of passengers decreased with 32 percent and capacity was decreased by 23 percent, which was a result from the 15-day pilot strike,” the release read. 

Pilot unions in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, went on strike for 15 days last month over pay, conditions, and the company’s refusal to rehire pilots laid off during the Covid-19 pandemic on the same terms as before. 

The strike, which cost the airline between €9m and €12m a day, was ended on July 19th, after which it took several days to get flights back to normal

Van der Werff said company said it would now continue putting in place its restructuring plan, SAS FORWARD, and push ahead with restructuring in the US, where the company has filed for Chapter 11. 

He said these would both “accelerate the transformation process that will lead to a financially stable airline, that will be able to deliver the service our customers are expecting”. 

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