Huawei’s Rivals Should Be Happy They’re Not American

Huawei’s Rivals Should Be Happy They’re Not American

The advent of 5G networks has accentuated U.S. concerns about lacking a domestic rival to the mighty Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.

Yet the Chinese telecoms equipment maker’s main competitors, Ericsson AB and Nokia Oyj, have good reason to be relieved that they are domiciled in Sweden and Finland respectively. President Donald Trump’s administration has spent much of the past two years cajoling other countriesinto banning gear made by Huawei from their networks. Had the two Nordic firms been U.S.-based, they would likely have been subject to retaliatory bans in China.

That would have had dramatic implications for their earnings. Ericsson’s northeast Asia region, which includes China, was the only market to deliver meaningful growth for the company in the three months through September, with revenue jumping 39% to 8.8 billion Krona ($1 billion). Group sales would otherwise have declined.We’ll see what happens with Nokia when it reports third-quarter earnings on Oct. 29.

What’s more, Nokia and Ericsson will benefit from Huawei’s exclusion from some markets, though the effect is likely to be limited. So far, just a handful of countries have imposed a ban on the Chinese vendor, such as the U.S., U.K., Japan and Australia. Although others such as France are restricting Huawei, the greater prize is, for now, retaining access to China.