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India May Allow Huawei To Sell 5G Equipment

Country’s telecom service providers had earlier urged the government to allow Huawei’s 5G gear

India May Allow Huawei To Sell 5G Equipment

Amid global controversy over Chinese telecom giant Huawei, India is more likely to allow the company to sell its 5G equipment, despite the United States’ call for a boycott over espionage concerns, it has been reported.

“Only Australia, New Zealand and Japan have followed the US call. Germany and the European countries haven’t banned Huawei. Why should we ban?” The Economic Times quoted a senior government official as saying. “To top it all, most telecom equipment providers source their supplies, especially chips, from China. The equipment providers themselves might not know if there is spyware in their products.” It should be noted that other telecom equipment makers such as Sweden's Ericsson, Finland’s Nokia source parts from China.

Earlier, Huawei India has stated that it will conduct 5G trial runs from January next year in the country, as per the directions of the Department of Telecom (DoT), Government of India.

Recently, two organisations from the telecom sector – Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC) have written separately to the government about this matter. While COAI requested the DoT not to “arbitrarily” ban Huawei’s 5G gear in India, TEPC, telecom equipment manufacturers’ group, has urged the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to ban Huawei equipment over “national interest” concerns.

The US, as part of its ongoing Trade War with China, has warned its friendly countries where Huawei equipment is already in wide circulation over cybersecurity and espionage concerns. While the US has already barred Huawei from supplying its government and contractors, Australia has banned the company from supplying equipment for a 5G network.

Following the US narrative, ban or restrictions were imposed on the Huawei equipment in the UK, Japan, Germany and New Zealand.

India and China have recently pledged to deepen economic ties between the two nations, and “banning” Huawei would be a major blow to India as 30 per cent of the country’s 4G market is occupied by the Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE. Reportedly, Indian government is planning to hold inter-ministerial meetings to settle this issue.

While concerns about Chinese telecom companies have been raised several times in the past, so far, no valid evidence has emerged against them. On the other side, India is likely to depend upon private labs, which are reportedly being set up across the country, to test telecom equipment.

Huawei is one of the companies to launch the world’s first service-oriented prototype for 5G core networks.

On December 1, Meng Wanzhou, Chief Financial Officer of Huawei Technologies Co., was arrested in Canada over alleged potential violation of US sanctions on Iran. Meng is also Huawei’s deputy chairwoman, and the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei. This development has been considered to further worsen the economic ties between China and the US.

Read more: Huawei 5G Controversy: India’s Telecom Service Providers Vs Equipment Manufacturers

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