India’s ban on Huawei, ZTE to ‘please US’ will be opposed by local telecoms operators: experts

By Chen Qingqing Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/16 16:03:39

Former Miss Universe and Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen launches Huawei smartphone P9 on August 17, 2016 in New Delhi, India. File photo: VCG

India's alleged exclusion of Chinese telecom equipment companies from 5G trials will eventually hurt its own telecoms industry and it's a move that follows the US in terms of politicizing business deals, Chinese experts said on Sunday.

Several Indian media outlets have reported that the Indian Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has barred Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp from the list of companies allowed to work with local companies in 5G technology-based trials due to "security" concerns.

The move follows the US and Australia in banning Huawei and ZTE for national security reasons.

"We're cooperating actively with local telecom operators and the Indian government, and local authorities and partners hold an open attitude toward cooperating with us in meeting demand for 5G network construction," a Huawei PR representative said in a statement sent to the Global Times on Saturday. 

The Chinese company is also working normally with local telecom operators on 5G trials, Huawei added.

ZTE had not responded to a press inquiry from the Global Times as of press time on Sunday.

The lack of participation from Huawei and ZTE, two leading companies in 5G technology, will eventually slow the process of 5G development in India and also increase costs, Xiang Ligang, chief executive of telecom industry news site, told the Global Times on Sunday.

"Surely, local telecoms service operators will not accept this outcome, and will ask the Indian government to let (the Chinese companies) in," he said.

The Indian telecoms authority has written to other foreign companies including Cisco, Samsung, Ericsson and Nokia to welcome them to work with domestic companies on 5G trials, and the government is planning to showcase specific 5G use cases by early 2019, according to the Economic Times of India.

India usually blocks Chinese investment, especially in sensitive sectors, by using the excuse of safeguarding national security in line with the intention to please the US by adopting a tough stance against China, Tian Guangqiang, assistant research fellow with the National Institute of International Strategy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Sunday.

In August, the US banned government personnel from using Huawei technologies while Australia barred the company from providing equipment to support the country's new telecommunications networks.

"Politicizing business activity leads to a deteriorating business environment for foreign investment, which will hinder Chinese investment in India in the future," Tian said.

Chinese companies have advantages not only in terms of prices but also network infrastructure, he noted.

"The alleged ban on Huawei and ZTE will make 5G services too expensive for low-income Indian populations," he added. The DoT had not responded to a request for interview.


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