China has warned India not to block Huawei from doing business in the country, or there could be repercussions for Indian companies operating on the mainland.
India is set to conduct trials for 5G cellular network installation in the coming months. However, the country has not taken a decision on whether to invite Huawei to take part in the 5G bidding, media reports said. Huawei, mired in the US-China trade war is the world’s biggest 5G gear maker.
Last month, a meeting was held between the Chinese officials and India’s ambassador in Beijing, Vikram Misri at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in China. During the meeting, the Chinese officials said that Indian companies operating in China could face ‘reverse sanctions’ if India blocks Huawei in the country as a result of the US ban.
Even though Indian companies have a small presence in China, companies such as Infosys, TCS, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Reliance Industries and Mahindra and Mahindra could be affected. Those companies have established their manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and outsourcing functions on the mainland.
Ashwani Mahajan, the National Co-Convener of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, in a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, wrote, “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.”
A high-level committee during its review to open the 5G trials to Huawei found no evidence that the company has used ‘back door’ programmes or malware to gather data in its current India operations.
A tech expert at the National Security Advisory Board suggested that the proposed 5G network’s hardware and software are not both sourced from Huawei, media reports said. Instead, the Indian government should bring in wireless carriers who will roll out 5G services to use Indian-made software for equipment supplied by the likes of Huawei.