US Discourages India From Patronising Huawei Gear

The US increased pressure on India not to allow the use of Huawei equipment in the country’s 5G networks, as Washington continues its trade war with Beijing.

As reported by the Financial Times, US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross was in Delhi on 1 October, warning Huawei can use “backdoors” to spy and steal personal data if installed in India’s national infrastructure.

“Anybody who thinks we are doing this for protectionism simply doesn’t know the facts. We hope that our geopolitical partner India does not inadvertently subject itself to untoward security risk”, said Ross.

Chairman of Bharti Enterprises which uses Huawei equipment and is the largest telecoms provider in the country, Sunil Bharti hit back at Ross’ comments.

“The US advisory is well taken from our point of view. But Indians will have to decide for themselves, given their relationship with China and the larger context.”

India is the world’s second largest telecoms market and is geographically important to the US by providing a regional counterweight against Beijing. Vodafone also uses Huawei equipment in the region.

Australian cyber security officials explained the country’s banning of Huawei gear in high level talks in Dehli last month.

In August, the Chinese government plied pressure on India to not listen to US warnings, indicating it can retaliate against Indian firms in China.

The South Asian country has little time to mull over Huawei’s participation as it will be holding spectrum auctions by the end of the year or early 2020.

Washington has been pressuring allies to not use Huawei gear and has charged the company for intellectual theft, fraud and unfair trading practices.

The US and China are in the midst of a massive trade war where both have sanctioned tariffs on billions of dollars against each other’s goods. Businesses and global economies have been negatively affected by it.

-Mobile World Live

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