European Union (EU) authorities are moving towards a competition probe of Huawei and ZTE over claims the firms are using Chinese state support to flood the EU with low-cost telecom kit.
Karel De Gucht, EU trade commissioner, last week became the first EU official to name the Chinese vendors directly in relation to claims the pair breach Europe’s anti-dumping and subsidy rules.
De Gucht told Reuters Huawei and ZTE are able to dump products into Europe due to state backing, and said a formal investigation is now a possibility.
The EU last week decided to open an ex officio probe into dumping and subsidies relating to mobile network equipment imported from China, meaning it can investigate the practices despite receiving no complaint from industry. However, a statement by De Gucht reveals the investigation is a last resort that will be used only if negotiations with Chinese authorities fail.
Huawei and ZTE last year denied receiving state subsidies or dumping telecom kit into Europe, after reports the EU was preparing to open an investigation.