Huawei has urged India to make an ‘informed and independent decision’ on permitting its 5G trials in the country as the Chinese telecom giant reeled under pressure following the US ban.
The US has banned Huawei, the world’s leader in telecom equipment and the number two smartphone producer, over concerns of security. Washington has been pressuring other countries to restrict the operations of the Chinese telecom firm.
India, however, is yet to take a call on whether it intends to place curbs on Huawei or allow the Chinese telecom equipment maker to participate in the upcoming 5G trials that are scheduled to commence in 100 days.
“The Indian Government or any other country must take an independent view to protect its own networks and data through its own standards, test mechanisms, and policies. It is important to address cyber security risks through an evidence and fact-based approach, introducing checks and balances with a monitored participation rather than banning out of fear,” Huawei, which is based in Shenzhen, said in a statement.
Earlier this month, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that India has its security issues over allowing Huawei to participate in the upcoming 5G trials.
“We will take a firm view on it. There are also security issues… It is not only a matter of technology, as regard their participation in 5G is concerned… Participation of 5G is not conditional upon the trial being started. Whether a particular company is allowed to participate or not is a complex question, including security issues,” he had said.
Commenting on the minister’s remarks, the Chinese Foreign Ministry last week said that India should take an independent decision without being guided by the US ban and provide an “unbiased and non-discriminatory” environment for the Chinese businesses.
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In its statement, Huawei said that it received full support from India for about two decades for its operations and obtained the invitation from Department of Telecom (DOT) to conduct 5G trials.
“In India, Huawei has received full support and confidence of the Government during our near 20 years operations in the country,” it said in response to questions over the security concerns raised by Prasad.
“In fact, last year, we secured an invitation from the DoT to submit our proposal for 5G trials, conveying the Government’s confidence in Huawei for an early, efficient, and pervasive deployment of 5G,” it said.
“Over the past few months, we have proactively engaged with the Indian Government, and their feedback has been positive. We are confident that the Indian Government will make an informed decision on 5G, one that provides a level-playing field to all vendors,” it said.
Huawei has a long-term strategy for India and will keep investing there in people, business, and operations, it said.
Huawei said that it recognized the importance of India as a talent base way back in 1999 when it set up its largest overseas R&D centre in Bengaluru. “Today, with almost two decades of operations in India, India is one of the largest and most localized presence outside China for Huawei,” it said.
“We are committed to bringing world class ICT solutions and products through our widespread presence in India encompassing the R&D Centre, Global Service Centre, the Innovation and Demo Centre, and a nationwide presence with regional and circle offices, including the recently launched OpenLab in Gurugram,” it added.