India Bans Chinese Telecom Companies For 5G Collaboration

Why is India banning Chinese telecom companies to partner in 5G Rollout? India due to security and snooping concerns (just like the US and Australia) has barred Chinese phone manufacturers from partnering with telecom firms for the rollout of 5G data services. Experts cite China’s expertise to use 5G compatible equipment to spy on other nations and its restrictive trade policy as the key motivation behind the move. 

“We have written to Cisco, Samsung, Ericsson, Nokia and other Telecom companies to partner us in 5G technology-based trials. However, we have excluded Huawei from these trials: Telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan

“We have barred Huawei from these trials due to security reasons. Indian Telecom Experts, while supporting the Indian government’s decision, confirmed that Chinese companies were highly proficient in spying.

“Chinese organisations ZTE and Huawei were previously banned by Australia and USA, so India has rightly taken this decision of not inviting them to partner in 5G trials in the national interest. These organisations are being seen as Chinese agents and it is speculated that their devices may be subject to Chinese snooping activities.

Commenting on the Indian government’s move, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said that Chinese government always promotes its corporations to adhere to international and local rules when pursuing an economic cooperation. We also expect that all nations could offer a transparent and fair environment to Chinese businesses.

Earlier Moves By India

Earlier in 2010, India had banned Chinese telecom equipment, eventually permitting it only after China agreed to rigorous security inspections. Since 5G technology is new to India, it looks like the government only wants to work with trusted partners.

Chinese firms have gradually made strong inroads into India’s burgeoning mobile phone and data market industry in the last few years. India permits up to 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in the telecom sector, but it requires approval from the government. The Government appointed board constantly reviews investor profiles, including whether the entity belongs to a friendly or unfriendly nation. Despite these checks, Chinese companies invested an estimated $2 billion in 2017 in India.

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