The Chinese government told India that there could be consequences for Indian firms with operations in China if Huawei Technologies was banned from the deployment of 5G in the country, Reuters reported, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.
During a recent meeting with India’s ambassador in Beijing, Chinese officials said there could be “reverse sanctions” on Indian firms engaged in business in China, should India block the Chinese vendor because of pressure from the U.S. government.
Indian newspaper The Economic Times recently reported that the United States Department of Commerce has recommended to the government of India that it not purchase equipment from Huawei.
Some of the Indian firms currently engaged with business in China include Infosys, TCS, Reliance Industries and Mahindra & Mahindra.
“On the issue of Chinese enterprises participating in the construction of India’s 5G, we hope the Indian side makes an independent and objective decision, and provides a fair, just and non-discriminatory commercial environment for Chinese enterprises’ investment and operations, to realize mutual benefit,” said a spokesperson at China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.
According to the report, a right-wing group tied to President Modi’s ruling alliance is opposing to a potential involvement of Huawei in the deployment of 5G infrastructure in India.
In a letter written to Modi last week, Ashwani Mahajan, the head of the economic wing of the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, said there were concerns about the operations of Huawei in India.
“We as a country are not yet sure of relying on Huawei. Globally, the Chinese companies, including Huawei, are facing allegations that they ‘underbid’ projects, and position themselves and their establishment back home to snoop and enable them to shut remotely, if required be,” he wrote.
Indian authorities had previously confirmed that they had received six proposals for 5G trials, including offers from Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE.
India’s telecom and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had previously said that the government would take “a firm view” on Huawei’s participation in 5G trials, and added that whether the vendor is allowed or not to take part in 5G trials is a complex issue involving security concerns.
A panel of experts which had been analyzing the security issues regarding a potential participation of Huawei in the country’s 5G trials found no evidence to suggest Huawei has used “back-door” programs or malware to collect data in its current operations in India, the report said, citing a government source. The interior ministry, which oversees the security of the telecoms infrastructure in the country, also has issued no directive to ban the participation of Huawei in the deployment of 5G networks, the telecoms official said.
“We can’t simply reject them just because they are Chinese,” said the official.
Huawei was blacklisted by the U.S government in May, as the Trump administration considers that the Chinese government use the vendor to carry out spying activities. Under the terms of the ban, U.S firms willing to export components and software to Huawei have to apply for a license.
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