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Japanese telecom giants to exclude Chinese firms when procuring 5G equipment

  • December 11, 2018
  • , Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Nikkei
  • JMH Summary

Asahi and Mainichi reported that in reply to a GOJ decision to include “security risks” as a factor in procurement decisions, Softbank disclosed on Monday that it will “take a concerted approach with the central government” when purchasing equipment for the planned launch of 5G telecommunications networks next year. Although the firm reportedly stressed that the policy does not target certain manufacturers, the daily speculated that it is meant to exclude Huawei and ZTE. Japan’s two other telecom giants, NTT Docomo and KDDI, have yet to announce their responses to the GOJ move.


Yomiuri speculated that NTT Docomo is likely to adopt the same policy as Softbank, noting that the two Japanese carriers have undertaken 5G-related demonstration experiments using equipment provided by Huawei. Nikkei claimed that all three telecom giants, as well as Rakuten, which plans to launch 5G services next autumn, are inclined to steer clear of Chinese products, explaining that U.S. pressure to exclude Chinese telecom equipment is having an impact on Japanese corporate decision-making.


As for the GOJ’s plan to change its internal rules for telecom equipment procurement, Prime Minister Abe told the press last night: “It is important not to procure equipment with functions of malicious intent…. This is not aimed at excluding specific companies or equipment.” Nikkei wrote that unlike the U.S. and the four other “Five Eyes,” Japan has chosen not to single out Huawei and other Chinese firms by name so as to avoid disrupting the Abe administration’s recent reconciliation with the Chinese government.     


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