Huawei could be entering a critical period for its return to Europe, after major economies signaled a policy shift


A flagship store of Huawei Photo: VCG

Chinese tech giant Huawei – which has been put on the US Entity List – is entering a critical period for its return to Europe as major EU economies signal a policy U-turn involving new access restrictions to the telecommunications market, analysts said.

On Friday, the UK government announced plans to delay the removal of Huawei Gears from its mobile networks by six months. The original deadline to reduce the share of Huawei equipment to 35% of its telecommunications network was set for January 2023.

According to a UK government statement, the delay was “because the COVID-19 pandemic and associated social distancing measures have impacted the ability of providers to reconfigure their networks to meet the notification deadline”.

Ma Jihua, a veteran telecoms industry analyst, told the Global Times on Sunday that the UK has actually taken “substantial small steps” to pull out Huawei gears in recent years, due to its business interests and immense expense to dismantle Huawei equipment that the virus-hit economy cannot afford.

Ma said the UK’s six-month delay could also be a strategy for him to “wait and see” the results of the US midterm elections in November and how that will reshape US politics, and that gives Britain time to adjust its policies accordingly. .

In 2020, the UK government announced measures restricting Huawei’s access to its market, including the 35% share cap and a commitment to remove all Huawei equipment from its 5G networks by 2027.

The Telegraph reported over the weekend that the UK government is not revising the 2027 deadline.

“The global pandemic is entering its third year, and things are now quite different from 2020, when some Western developed economies formed small circles to suppress Huawei to echo US sanctions,” Ma said, noting that he there are few incentives for the EU. block now to continue or impose new restrictions on Huawei.

Today, many European governments are preoccupied with a host of issues ranging from an economic restart to settling the situation in Ukraine, industry watchers said.

In fact, in recent months, major European economies have flip-flopped in their stances on economic relations with China. More and more countries are pushing for pragmatic cooperation with China.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly considering reviving trade talks with China that have stalled for years. Top leaders of China and France had a phone call on Feb. 16, and now China is ready to work with France to push forward the ratification of the China-EU investment agreement, the agency reported. press Xinhua.

The two countries have also reached consensus that each provides a fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for the other’s businesses, which has important implications for Huawei’s future operations in France.
“The way major European economies are acting is symbolic and could influence the policies of smaller European economies towards Chinese companies,” Ma said.

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