EU and China settle the telecoms case

chinaeuIntensive discussions between the European Commission and the Chinese government were concluded by an amicable settlement on the trade defence investigation into Chinese telecoms. Today, the Commission took the official decision that it no longer considers it necessary to pursue this investigation.

The talks culminated on 18 October at the EU-China Joint Committee, chaired by Commissioner Karel De Gucht and Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng. The Joint Committee is a regular event on the EU – China trade meetings’ calendar, attesting to the importance both sides attach to their trading relationship. The meeting discussed a number of issues on the bilateral trade agenda, with a focus on areas where relations can be strengthened such investment and cooperation on important multilateral and plurilateral initiatives.

Regarding telecoms, the main points of the settlement include:

  • Tasking an independent body with the monitoring of the Chinese and EU telecoms networks markets
  • Guaranteeing access to the relevant Chinese standard setting body for European companies without discrimination.
  • Equal treatment of companies bidding for publically funded research and development projects
  • The EU and China will also advance the work of the International Working Group on Export Credits, whose objective is to adopt sectoral and horizontal disciplines in the field.

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said: “I am pleased that the EU and China have resolved the telecoms case. 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.”

In procedural terms, today’s action concerns the decision in principle of 15 May 2013 to open an ex officio anti-dumping and an anti-subsidy investigation concerning imports of mobile telecommunications networks and their essential elements from China. On 27 March 2014, the Commission already repealed the part relating to the anti-dumping investigation, following today with anti-subsidy. Together, these two decisions mean that the investigation into mobile telecommunications networks from China will not be pursued.

Source: European Commission