India likely to block its mobile carriers from using telecom equipment made by China’s Huawei. The announcement comes from two government officials who further added that the ban would come in to force from june under procurement rules.
New Delhi is wary about awarding new technology business to Chinese firms due to security fears and a desire to get Indian manufacturers to produce more telecoms equipment. A US campaign to curb Huawei triggered bans on the use of its equipment around the globe. But here in India, the situation has been amplified by strained relations between New Delhi and Beijing over their shared border.
India’s telecom department said that from June 15, carriers can only purchase certain types of equipment from government-approved “trusted sources”. It also said that New Delhi could create a “no procurement” blacklist in which Huawei is likely to feature.
“We cannot prioritise economic gains if an investment poses national security risk” one of the officials said. Huawei and ZTE has been under scrutiny for installing “backdoor” vulnerabilities to spy for the Chinese government.
Two of India’s three big telecom carriers, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, use Huawei gear. And therefore any restriction on Huawei gear will push up costs.