ZTE, the Chinese telecoms equipment maker, has vowed to retaliate after it was sued by Ericsson of Sweden for alleged patent infringement.
The state-controlled company said it would launch “patent invalidation procedures” against Ericsson in China in response to its rival’s legal action.
Ericsson filed lawsuits against ZTE in the UK, Germany and Italy on Friday in its first such move against a Chinese company.
The case highlights growing competition between Ericsson, the world’s biggest network infrastructure maker by sales, and fast-growing Chinese rivals such as ZTE and Huawei. It also underlines the intensifying battle over intellectual property in the telecoms industry, with a web of similar disputes under way between Nokia, Apple, Motorola, HTC and others.