Who are the other potential players in the frame?

The Finance Ministry official said that the lobby for China’s Huawei and other players, such as ZTE Corporation, which specialises in so-called cloud technologies that are vital to the 5G ecosystem, has been intensifying in the past month.

Huawei, which has set its sights on expanding into the markets of Southeast Asia and the Middle East to make up for the loss of business in the Western countries, has had mixed success pushing into ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) markets. The Philippines and Cambodia have partnered Huawei, but other markets such as Singapore and Thailand have gone with Ericsson.

A foothold in Malaysia would represent a huge breakthrough for Huawei, which already has a long-term strategic partnership with Maxis Bhd, the country’s largest private mobile telephone operator.

DNB executives have pushed back, arguing privately with the