Hot on the heels of the U.S. government's alleged call for its allied nations to drop Huawei-made telecommunications equipment and Japan's ban on Chinese-made hardware from government use, SoftBank is now reportedly planning to drop Huawei as well. This is according to a new report from Nikkei, though it didn't cite any source.
As part of that move, the Japanese conglomerate allegedly looks to Nokia and Ericsson for a possible 4G network hardware replacement. Current hardware components of that network are built by Huawei. However, it's likely to take years before the transition is completed.
The report highlights another major blow to China's largest telecommunications equipment company. Huawei's networking products, along with ZTE's technology, are already banned from government use in the U.S. Australia's government followed suit in August, preventing both Chinese firms from providing 5G technology in the country due to national security concerns.
In addition to SoftBank, other Japanese mobile carriers including NTT Docomo and KDDI are also believed to have ditched Chinese-made equipment for their 5G networks. Both Nokia and Ericsson are also supposedly being eyed by SoftBank for its 5G efforts.
The Japanese firm's supposed move is expected to have serious repercussions for its business dealings in China. SoftBank Group currently holds a major share in Alibaba Group Holding and Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing.