China warned France against treating Huawei Technologies differently from European competitors when it comes to future 5G network equipment contracts, as the US mounts a campaign to keep the Chinese tech giant at bay, reported the South China Morning Post.
In a lengthy statement issued on Sunday on its website, the Chinese embassy in Paris urged France to establish “transparent criteria and treat all companies in a similar way”, referring to telecom equipment makers. It also warned that a difference in treatment based on the country of origin would be considered “blatant discrimination” and “disguised protectionism.”
The statement also carried a veiled warning. “We do not wish to see the development” in China of Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson being “impacted because of discrimination and protectionism” against Huawei by France and other European countries, the embassy said.
The statement comes as France prepares to auction off 5G spectrum in April. France’s main carrier, Orange, has already announced it would leave Huawei out of its 5G network and work instead with Nokia and Ericsson.