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EU telecom probe 'hurts interests of both sides'

By Gao Yuan  (China Daily)

13:22, May 22, 2013

Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said on Tuesday that the European Union's decision to launch an investigation into Chinese telecommunication equipment manufacturers would damage the interests of both China and the EU.

"Such a one-sided move only serves to make the dispute more difficult to solve," he said.

The European Commission said on May 15 it would launch an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into mobile telecommunication equipment imported from China, targeting the nation's top manufacturers ZTE Corp and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

The commission claimed that the Chinese government had given unfair subsidies to allow companies such as ZTE and Huawei to flood the European market with cheap equipment.

Gao said China has always considered Sino-EU cooperation to have benefited both sides' wireless communication companies, and the market in China is always open to overseas suppliers.

The market share in China of companies from the EU is much higher than that of Chinese enterprises in the EU.

"Talks and cooperation are the most effective way to overcome friction, and China is not willing to see the Sino-EU trade war heat up," said Gao.

The European Commission has yet to respond to Gao's remarks.

The EU is not the first market where Chinese equipment manufacturers have encountered problems.

The United States launched an 18-month investigation into Huawei and ZTE in 2011, claiming national security concerns in a bid to keep Chinese products out of the country's telecom industry.

Huawei and ZTE rejected the claims.

On May 14, ZTE launched a cloud-based mobile network platform to host European mobile virtual network operators.

The company has seen unexplored business opportunities for European telecom operators in this field, said Ivan Cairo, business development director at ZTE.

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