The EU will press ahead with a trade investigation of Chinese telecom equipment makers Huawei and ZTE despite a planned summit between the EU and China to ease tensions, an EU official has told Reuters.
EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht is planning to take action against the companies due to suspicions that they are receiving illegal state subsidies to sell equipment for lower prices than European rivals such as Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks.
The EU official rejected a Financial Times report suggesting that the EU was delaying the case in advance of the summit, which will be attended by Chinese premier Wen Jiabao. "EU Commissioner Karel De Gucht continues actively to gather evidence so as to be ready to launch a case as required," the official said.
Huawei and ZTE have both denied the allegations. President of Huawei’s European affairs department Leo Sun told Reuters that the company is “confident that we have not engaged in dumping in Europe” and has provided the EU with data and evidence supporting this view.
The case is the first of its kind as the European Commission is considering taking action before any EU companies have come to them with an official complaint.
The summit between the 27-country EU and China will cover trade and the Eurozone financial crisis, as well as sustainable development and human rights.