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France Opens Arms to ZTE, Europe Venturing Where US Would Not

While China’s telecom manufacturers Huawei and ZTE have effectively seen their chances dashed in the US for the foreseeable future, French politicians are already making it clear, au contraire, that they are open for business, and ZTE is more than willing to accommodate them this week.

It looks as if ZTE has successfully courted the government of Lille (a town in the northern Calais region of French) in a meeting this week with French representatives entitled the “Lille, France Regional Investment Promotion Meeting.”  Among the delegation from France were Lille’s deputy governor, Pierre de Saintignon, and the North France Investment Bureau Chairman Luc Doublet. The meeting took place yesterday in Shenzhen.

On the subject of their approach to ZTE, Managing Director of the North France Investment Bureau Yann Pitollet had the following to say:

“Towards China’s telecom and other industries, France will not have any restrictions, and links and partnerships have already been made. France will maintain a balanced approach to any Chinese industry looking to enter Europe. Now that ZTE wants to enter the European market, both sides will conclude and sign cooperation agreements.”

He also stated that any high-tech enterprise would be allowed to search for investment opportunities in France; however, he noted that any cooperation on nuclear power or defense would have to comply with EU regulations.

This stands in contrast with the US, who in early October categorically denounced Huawei and ZTE via Congressional Committee for not providing enough evidence to prove their independence from the Chinese government. The US committee stated that Huawei and ZTE were national security threats and that the US should block any M&A engagement with them.

All this begs the question: is the US being politically wise and economically prudent, and/or is Europe responding to opportunities and desperate for investment?

Huawei is already being embraced by the UK since September in one of its newest expansions into 4G services. With France added in the mix, and with opportunities dwindling in other sectors, expect a broader push into Europe in the next few years.

Source: Sina Tech

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