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European Trade Commission temporarily delays price subsidy investigation into Huawei and ZTE

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The European Trade Commission has delayed an investigation into Chinese telecommunications giants Huawei and ZTE due to a new investigation into aggressively low solar panel pricing from Chinese distributors, Reuters reports. Huawei and ZTE, which were recently investigated by the US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and deemed potential security risks, were also being investigated by EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht citing concerns over pricing subsidies. However, a formal complaint from a European telecommunications producer is required in order to launch a full investigation, and no complaint has been brought forward.

The seemingly-unrelated solar panel investigation may serve the purpose of making an impression on China about subsidy issues in preparation for the case against Huawei and ZTE, trade experts and diplomats say. Analysts speaking to Reuters say the Trade Commission's investigation into Huawei and ZTE likely won't resume until next June at the earliest, depending on the outcome of the ongoing solar panel case.