Chinese equipment vendors may have regained access to India, but now a European Commission probe threatens to halt exports of wireless modems to the region.
The Commission is investigating whether China’s government is offering unfair subsidies to wireless equipment makers including ZTE and Huawei, and whether Chinese vendors are dumping old stocks of wireless dongles on Europe - a move that could result on import caps being introduced.
Belgian dongle maker Option sparked the probes in a complaint to the European Commission, alleging that imports of Chinese WWAN modems are “causing material injury to the Union industry,” the EC revealed in its official journal.
The EC’s latest probe covers WWAN modems providing IP data connectivity and WiFi routers with built-in WWAN modems.
Option is Europe’s only manufacturer of WWAN modems, and says its business is suffering as a glut of subsidized Chinese equipment hits the market.
The EC said Option has provided evidence that shows Chinese imports have “had a negative impact on the quantities sold, the level of the prices charged and the market share held by the Union industry.”
However, the China Chamber of Commerce for imports and exports of electronic products queried Option’s right to protest, noting the firm has outsourced all production of its equipment to Chinese companies, People’s Daily reported.
Huawei pledged to fight the accusation using all available legal options, FT.com reported.
Europe imports $4 billion (€3 billion) worth of Chinese modems each year, Reuters said.
The Commission now has just over a year to decide if it should increase import tariffs on Chinese modems, however it could introduce a temporary rise as early as January, the news site added.
China’s Ministry of Commerce said the investigations will harm trade , and pledged to fight any new restrictions via the World Trade Organisation, WSJ.com reported.