Several Chinese companies have donated infection control equipment to Oslo Municipality and expressed their desire to meet key politicians and get attention, which they failed to get.
When technology giant Huawei donated infection control equipment to Oslo Municipality, there was talk of meetings with City Mayor Raymond Johansen (Ap) and Health Councilor Robert Steen, which came to nothing, according to Dagens Næringsliv. Instead, when a meeting was held in the office of Municipal Director Svein Lyngroth, Huawei was told that the Municipality of Oslo did not want any media around the meeting.
Karsten Friis, a senior scientist and head of the security and defense research group of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), has referred to efforts from China in recent months, where the country has helped other countries affected by coronavirus and positioned themselves in a new global market, as “a form of impact operation”.
Erik Thomas Ganer, Huawei’s head of communications in Norway, denies that positioning was the intention behind asking for meetings and getting photos taken.
– We were interested in a meeting to find out if the equipment had been useful, and if there were other things we could contribute to the national measures, Ganer writes in an email to DN.
Municipal Director Lyngroth says no press releases have been sent regarding donations from private donors from Oslo Municipality.
“We do not usually have media present at meetings of the municipal director and saw no reason to change it in this case,” he says.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today