SoftBank Corp sees no tech impact from not using Huawei gear

SoftBank Corp. placard is prepared during a ceremony to mark the company’s debut on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo, Japan December 19, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato

(Reuters) – SoftBank Corp does not expect any technology impact if it does not use 5G network gear from Chinese tech giant Huawei [HWT.UL] and had found the same level of quality from other vendors, an executive said at a press conference on Wednesday.

The Japanese telecom operator said it had not made a decision on switching from Chinese equipment makers and needed to understand and comply with government guidelines.

SoftBank Corp’s shares tumbled more than 14 percent on debut on Wednesday, as investor appetite for Japan’s biggest ever IPO was hurt by a recent service outage at the company and worries over its exposure to Huawei.

Huawei has already been virtually locked out of the U.S. market and prohibited by Australia and New Zealand from building 5G networks amid concerns its gear could facilitate Chinese spying. Huawei has repeatedly insisted Beijing has no influence over it.

Sources had told Reuters that SoftBank plans to replace 4G network equipment from Huawei with hardware from other suppliers.

Reporting by Sam Nussey in Tokyo; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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