The EC said it will not pursue an “anti-dumping” investigation concerning the import of telecoms equipment from China, and while an “anti-subsidy” probe could still take place, it will “not be activated for the time being, to allow the continuation of the negotiations with the Chinese authorities towards an amicable solution”.

In a statement, EC said the anti-dumping probe, which concerns the sale of products at lower prices than in a home market in order to undercut rivals, has been dropped because “further analysis has shown that the essence of the problems posed by Chinese competition on the EU market lies in the subsidisation of the mobile telecommunications network”.

According to Reuters, the EU trade commissioner, Karl De Gucht, said he would like to have reached a solution “by the next economic and trade committee meeting with China that we should have (at the) end of June or beginning of July in Brussels”.

Last year, the regulator said it had taken a “decision in principle” to investigate the import of Chinese kit into Europe, but that it would not begin its efforts in order to give time to negotiate with the relevant authorities. The move was taken “ex officio”, meaning there had been no complaint from a vendor – which is perhaps unsurprising, due to the potential size of the Chinese market for these companies.

While the EC has not named names, it is Huawei and ZTE which have been the most successful Chinese vendors when it comes to growing their presence in international markets.