Chinese telecom giant Huawei sues the Swedish state over 5G ban

After setbacks in the Swedish judiciary, Chinese Huawei goes ahead and sues the Swedish state in an international arbitration tribunal about the country’s 5G ban against the company, media Expressen reports.

The Swedish think tank Catalyst (Katalys) was the first reporting on the lawsuit which was registered with the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on 21 January.

In the fall of 2020, the Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) with assistance from, among others, Säpo excluded Huawei from the Swedish auction of the new generation of telecom networks, 5G due to security concerns over Huawei’s links to the Chinese state.

Huawei sued PTS over the decision but has lost in two legal instances.

Huawei is now moving forward with its previous threats to sue the Swedish state, as the company believes that Sweden is violating the investment protection agreement the country has with China, an agreement regulated by ICSID.

In a statement to AFP, Huawei said, “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.” 

Already a year ago, in a letter to several Swedish ministers, Huawei threatened to take the matter to arbitration due to lost revenue of at least SEK five billion. 

The company had, therefore “initiated arbitration proceedings” under the World Bank Group’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) “against the Kingdom of Sweden following several 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 is also banned in several other western countries, including the United States.

About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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