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China reportedly considers action against Nokia, Ericsson if EU bans Huawei

The country's Ministry of Commerce may hit the European companies with export controls, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Huawei logo
If the EU bans Huawei equipment, its own companies may struggle to do business in China, a report said Monday.
Corinne Reichert/CNET

China could retaliate against European telecom equipment makers Nokia and Ericsson if the European Union bans Huawei from member states' 5G networks, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. That comes after the UK followed the US in blocking the embattled Chinese company's gear from its next-generation wireless network.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce is considering placing export controls on Finland's Nokia and Sweden's Ericsson that'd stop them from sending products they manufacture in China to other countries, according to Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter. 

Read more: China wants to dominate the most important tech of our time

"As a global company operating in a multitude of regions, we are mindful of the geopolitical environment and the risks and opportunities that it creates for us," a Nokia spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Back in January, the EU issued a "toolbox" greenlighting but restricting the use of higher-risk vendors in its member states' 5G rollouts. It didn't name Huawei, but offered countries a voluntary way to limit Huawei's presence in their networks.

Ericsson declined to comment.