The European Commission said it “no longer considers it necessary” to continue an investigation into the practices of Chinese vendors in EU markets, having reached an “amicable settlement” with the Chinese government.
With regard to the telecoms sector, the settlement includes appointing an independent body to monitor the Chinese and EU telecoms networks markets; guaranteeing access to the relevant Chinese standard setting body for European companies without discrimination; and equal treatment of companies bidding for publicly funded R&D projects.
Earlier this year, the EC had said that it was not pursuing an investigation into the practices of Chinese telecoms vendors in the European market, in order to focus on negotiation with the Chinese authorities.
While it did not name names, Huawei and ZTE have been the most successful in growing their market shares worldwide.
The markets watchdog had taken a decision in principle to investigate whether Chinese vendors were selling products in Europe at lower prices than in their home markets in order to undercut rivals.
The probe was being conducted “ex officio” – meaning the EU had not received a complaint from a vendor. With China being an important market for all of these companies, many of which have already seen a fair degree of success winning contracts from the country’s operators, their reticence seems understandable.
“The EU pursues every opportunity to level out the playing field for our companies by engaging with our strategic partners including China. The concerns that have led us to launch the case last May can now be addressed in a systematic and regular dialogue between the two sides for the benefit of our industry,” said Karel De Gucht (pictured), EU Trade Commissioner.