As US-China trade war deepens, something that originated with Huawei, China has now issued a ‘warning’ to India against blocking the telecom equipment manufacturer. Huawei has been struggling to maintain its position in the global tech market as a 5G equipment manufacturer amid various controversies. Since Huawei is one of China’s biggest tech companies, the Chinese foreign ministry has decided to take matters in its hands and convince other countries to let Huawei do business within their borders.
As a part of that convincing, a Reuters report now suggests that the Chinese government has warned India not to block Huawei from doing business in the country. Failing to do so might lead to consequences for Indian firms in China, Reuters reported. Citing people familiar with the matter, Reuters said that, Vikram Misri, India’s ambassador in Beijing, was called by the Chinese Foreign ministry to hear their concerns about the U.S. campaign to keep Huawei out of 5G mobile infrastructure around the world.
Since Huawei was banned from doing any business in the US over security concerns, the company has faced headwinds, including financial losses. The US government has sought its allies to block Huawei stating that the company has ties with the Chinese government and could use their devices for spying. Though Huawei has denied such claims.
Huawei is the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer and will be playing a crucial role in the upcoming 5G rollout worldwide. Following the US, countries like the UK, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada have restricted Huawei’s presence in their 5G systems. This has given Huawei’s rivals, namely Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung, an upper hand in those countries.
India’s Electronics and IT Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, had said that India will be carrying out trials for 5G within the next few months, but whether Huawei will be invited to participate in these trials is yet to be decided.
Hua Chunying, Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, told Reuters that, “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.”
Sources familiar with the matter, citing a readout of the ambassador’s meeting, told Reuters that Chinese officials said that if India blocks Huawei from doing business within the country, there could be reverse sanctions on Indian firms involved in businesses in China.
A Principal Scientific Advisory committee set up to review security concerns regarding Huawei’s equipment has said that there’s no evidence which would suggest that Huawei’s using its devices for spying purposes. This conclusion was based on the data collected on the company’s current operations in India.
V. Kamakoti, a tech expert at the National Security Advisory Board, in a presentation reviewed by Reuters, has suggested that the government should get the companies involved with the 5G rollout to make use of Indian software to run their equipment, instead of using their own software. This will ensure that not both hardware and software are sourced from the same company, which in this case is Huawei.
In October, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China’s President Xi Jinping will be discussing trade and commerce between the two countries, in Varanasi, India. The Chinese President has assured that the trade gap between India and China will be addressed.
Also, India and China have a fragile relationship due to their past and current geopolitical issues. So, India’s decision regarding Huawei will surely affect its relationship with China.