Huawei crisis’ watched closely in Lithuania

Huawei Scanpix nuotr.

Following Google’s announcement that it has severed relations with Huawei, seen by Washington as a national security threat, Lithuanian telecoms companies say they do not know yet how the sanctions will affect the Chinese technology giant’s phones, the online news site and reported on May 21.

Lithuanian mobile carriers have yet to make a decision on the potential withdrawal of the phones from the market. Telia Lietuva spokesman Audrius Stasiulaitis notes that the company is monitoring proceedings related to this, but for now it is too early to make any conclusions on both phones present in storefronts and already purchased and in use by clients.

“What the potential impact of these sanctions will be on Telia clients, who already have purchased Huawei phones, we currently cannot say, but we will immediately make an announcement when we know more,” he says.

Tele2 representative Andrius Baranauskas also had similar comments. He guesses that the sanctions would only impact future phone models, while current ones would continue operating. Nevertheless, he conceded that currently the carriers know just as much as most regular users. A. Baranauskas also reminded that existing two year warranty commitments to already purchased Huawei phones do not cease and upon a technical failure, the phone could be returned.

A Bitė representative also echoed the same sentiments, also remarking that both Huawei and Google would certainly seek to provide clarification soon. “We are certain that they will find mutually suitable solutions, of which they will immediately inform their clients,” he wrote in a response.

Huawei presence in the Lithuanian market

Based on a survey commissioned by Telia, it was revealed in February that Samsung phones are the most popular in Lithuania, owned by 44% of survey takers. However, second place was taken by Huawei (24%), with Apple and Nokia following (14% each).

The company Huawei Technologies, which has been operating in Lithuania from 2009 has been cooperating with the Vilnius, Vilnius Gediminas Technology and Kaunas Technology universities. It was selected as a technological partner three years ago by the Lithuanian Radio and Television Centre for a major project – modernising the 4G network.

According to data from the portal, the Lithuanian branch of the company had 23 employees in March, with an average wage of 9,584.26 euro (before tax).

Huawei Technologies has for a time now been among the country’s top 100 tax payers. In 2017, it took 48th place on the list, with a transfer of 14.158 million euro to the State Tax Inspectorate. Last year, it was 54th (17.68 million euro), Q1 this year – 59th (3.633 million euro)

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