China Unicom and China Telecom announced suppliers for their joint standalone (SA) 5G network deployment worth CNY32.3 billion ($4.56 billion), with Nokia omitted from the selection.

Local reports suggest Huawei received a share of 55 per cent, with domestic rival ZTE’s share at 33 per cent. Ericsson was awarded around 10 per cent and Chinese supplier Datang Mobile 2 per cent.

Nokia, which bid for the centralised procurement project for the operators, jointly building a single nationwide 5G RAN, was also recently left off China Mobile’s supplier list for the second phase of its $5.2 billion 5G deployment.

Huawei won a 57.3 per cent share of China Mobile’s latest contract, ZTE’s share was 28.7 per cent, Ericsson 11.5 per cent and Datang 2.6 per cent.

A Nokia representative told Mobile World Live the company respects the decision: “We remain a long-term player in China and our commitment to China remains, but… we have always taken a conservative and transparent approach to our business in China. We continue to execute against a clear strategic goal to improve our overall business mix in the country.”

The omission adds to a string of woes the Finnish company faced since the beginning of the year. Earlier this month, Nokia refused to comment on media reports it hired an investment bank to help it defend from a hostile takeover. It also announced a change of CEO, warned about its prospects for the year and was forced to fend off reports of asset sales.