Chinese telcos have invited Ericsson to join 5G tests in a final 'interview' process, Global Times reported this week, citing a source familiar with the matter.
According to the source, Sweden's decision to exclude Chinese telecoms such as Huawei from the nation's 5G deployment, namely without facts or evidence, was arbitrary and very "bad in nature".
The invitation was just an "interview opportunity" rather than an official hiring of the Swedish firm as the Chinese people would not tolerate "vicious deeds against them", the source said.
The source added: "Sweden has excluded Huawei, while Ericsson is planning to continue to take orders in China, which is tantamount to 'smashing the bowls' of Chinese companies. However, they still want their own companies to continue to eat the 'cake' of Chinese market. Will the 1.4 billion Chinese people agree?"
The news comes as China's four top telecoms - China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Broadcasting Network Corporation - have begun 5G testing across the country, with both domestic and foreign telecoms such as Huawei, ZTE, Nokia, Ericsson and others joining the tests.
"China has been providing a fair environment for Ericsson's operations in China despite the Huawei issue," Xiang Ligang, Information Consumption Alliance director-general told the Global Times.
According to Xiang, Ericsson and Nokia accounted for up to 20 percent of China's 5G market to date.
Sweden Moves to Block Huawei
The news comes after the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) banned Huawei and ZTE from 5G spectrum auctions in October last year, citing national security concerns, without further explanation.
Huawei appealed the decision in January, but the move was dismissed by Swedish courts.
Mr Ekholm has also stated the decision would delay Sweden's national 5G rollout due to fewer entrants.
Numerous countries have banned the two Chinese telecom giants amid the ongoing trade war with China, including India, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States, citing alleged national security concerns the kit could be used to spy for the Chinese government.
Execs from Huawei, ZTE and other Chinese tech firms have repeatedly and strongly denied the allegations and stated countries have failed to provide evidence on the matter.