Home / Tech / The CEO of Cisco disagreed with a Trump administration proposal to take an ownership stake in Nokia and Ericsson to counter China's 5G offensive (CSCO)

The CEO of Cisco disagreed with a Trump administration proposal to take an ownership stake in Nokia and Ericsson to counter China's 5G offensive (CSCO)

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins

  • Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins disagreed with a recent Trump Administration proposal for the US government to invest in Ericsson and Nokia in order to counter China’s gains in 5G.
  • Robbins was reacting to Attorney General William Barr’s statement last week that the US should take an ownership stake in the European telecom giants to prevent China, particularly Huawei, from dominating the 5G wireless market.
  • “I don’t think the US government should make investments in these companies,” Robbins told analysts on Cisco’s fiscal second quarter earnings call. “I actually think the US is in fine shape. I think both from a carrier deployment perspective, I think we’re in great shape. And I think we’re in a good position with the technology.”
  • Cisco shares fell 4% after hours after the company reported lower revenue, although the tech giant beat Wall Street estimates
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Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said he didn’t think the United States should invest in Ericsson and Nokia which the Trump Administration has proposed as a way to counter China’s 5G offensive.

Robbins was reacting to Attorney General William Barr’s suggestion that the US should take an ownership stake in the European telecom giants to prevent China, particularly Cisco rival Huawei, from dominating the 5G wireless market.

Barr’s comments last week sparked a rally in Nokia and Ericsson shares, and the issue came up during Cisco’s fiscal second-quarter earnings call on Wednesday when an analyst asked Robbins “on this whole 5G investment commentary coming, you know, coming out of the government.”

“I don’t think the US government should make investments in these companies,” Robbins responded, as he also suggested that the US had a strong position when it comes to 5G, the next generation superfast wireless technology that’s expected to lead to dramatic changes in networks.

“I don’t think the US government should make investments in these companies,” Robbins told analysts on Cisco’s fiscal second quarter earnings call. “I actually think the US is in fine shape. I think both from a carrier deployment perspective, I think we’re in great shape. And I think we’re in a good position with the technology.”

Robbins said he has helped political leaders in Washington understand the US position in the 5G rollout.

“Obviously, they’re very interested in having US companies participate in 5G and, frankly, lead in 5G,” he said. “We’ve spent a lot of time helping them understand that and working to make sure that there’s a recognition that there’s a lot of technology that’s been built and being built here in the United States that is leading in these 5G infrastructures.”

Cisco shares shed 4% late Wednesday after the tech giant reported a dip revenue, although its results beat Wall Street estimates.

Cisco reported a profit of $2.9 billion, or 68 cents a share, compared to a profit of $2.8 billion or 63 cents a share for the year-ago quarter. Revenue slipped 4% to $12 billion. Adjusted profit was 77 cents a share. 

Analysts had expected the company to report a profit of 76 cents a share on revenue of $11.98 billion.

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