William Barr, said the US should consider taking a controlling stake in the European companies either directly or through a consortium of US and allied companies. He made the comments at a conference on China held in Washington DC.

Huawei is the world’s largest telecommunications infrastructure vendor and Ericsson and Nokia the only meaningful competition for the installation of 5G cellular communications. A US ban on Huawei selling its equipment in the US is key element of the US-China trade dispute.

“The risk of losing the 5G struggle with China should vastly outweigh all other considerations,” one report quoted Barr as saying.

The US has already considered extending lines of credit to Ericsson and Nokia to help them compete on price with Huawei, but the Attorney-General is advocating a more dramatic approach.

Related links and articles:

Huawei stockpiling chips, expecting tighter US sanctions

Ericsson denies systematic bribery allegations

US lobbied hard to deny China EUV lithography

TSMC says not fazed by lowering of ‘dual-use’ threshold

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