Skip to comments.India allegedly blacklists Chinese telecom firms
Posted on 07/10/2010 10:33:13 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
Speculation that India is targeting telecom equipment imports from China over security concerns was highlighted again after an Indian newspaper recently released a "blacklist" of temporarily banned telecom firms, nearly all of them from China, which contradicts the Indian government's repeated denials.
Both the Indian and Chinese governments declined to confirm the report to the Global Times Thursday.
Indian's Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said that it was not aware of the reported blacklist. China's Ministry of Commerce said it needed to confirm the report and the Economic and Commercial Counselor's Office of the Chinese embassy in India acknowledged that it is a sensitive issue, without further elaboration.
According to a copy obtained by India's Economic Times (ET), the list, which was prepared by the Intelligence Bureau (IB), features 26 companies, including 25 from China, such as Lenovo, Huawei Technologies, ZTE, Sunsea Telecoms, UT Starcom, Tongyu Communications, Wuhan Fibrehome International, Shenzhen Grentech, Maipu Communications.
The DoT's logic behind temporarily barring these 26 companies is that it doesn't have the wherewithal, yet, to either oversee the complete telecom equipment supply chain or do a security audit of mobile networks, and hence is in no position to assess the security implications of importing telecom equipment from Chinese and Israeli manufacturers on the IB list, the ET reported June 2, citing an internal note from the DoT.
Since 2005, India's home ministry has warned that foreign telecom equipment suppliers, especially Chinese, may install spyware and malware that could monitor voice and data traffic and bring down networks.
Last year, the Indian government banned all mobile phones without a proper unique identification number, and limits have been set on the number of overseas workers that can be employed on infrastructure projects.
Since February, 450 orders, worth over $2 billion, placed by Indian mobile-phone operators with the 26 companies on the blacklist, have not been cleared. All 27 telecom equipment orders that have been cleared so far were placed with Western firms such as Ericsson, Nokia Siemens and Alcatel-Lucent, the ET reported.
The Chinese government raised the issue of curbs on the use of Chinese telecom equipment in India during talks with the Indian Prime Minister's special envoy Shivshankar Menon this week.
Menon said Tuesday in Beijing after a four-day visit that India will soon announce an "open and non-discriminatory" policy for importing telecom equipment from any country, adding that the security concerns do not relate to a specific nation.
According to an announcement by China's Ministry of Commerce last month, the orders signed between Chinese telecom firms such as Huawei and ZET with Indian operators, totaling $5 billion, have been seriously affected since India enacted a series of security audit regulations.
No Chinese company has achieved security clearance for telecommunication equipment, which constitutes discrimination against Chinese products, the ministry said.
Fu Liang, an independent IT analyst, told the Global Times that the ban is a show of dislike by the Indian government toward Chinese products, as China and India are competing with each other fiercely on many fronts, including in the telecommunications sector.
However, he said Chinese manufacturers, such as Huawei and ZTE, should have been more transparent when trying to get access to overseas markets in their bid to win local trust.
Huawei and ZTE didn't make any direct comments on the issue to the Global Times Thursday, but they have carried out a series of emergency response activities in India. Huawei has submitted comprehensive confidence-building measures to address all security concerns, Kevin Zhang, Huawei Technologies vice president, global marketing department, told the ET.
The company has achieved an 85-90 percent localization of Indian engineers and management in various functions and is in the process of establishing an Indian corporate governance board comprising eminent Indian professionals who will advise Huawei India, the executive said.
Shi Fenghai, deputy director of the China Information Industry Association (CIIA), told the Global Times Thursday that the Indian government's latest ban is a form of protectionism in the name of safety concerns.
"India is weak in telecom equipment production. Imposing a ban on Chinese products is aimed at protecting its own industry," Shi said, adding that the government fears that Chinese products will deal a crushing blow to their Indian counterparts.
Zheng Wenfu, an associate professor of business administration at the School of Economics and Management at Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications, told the Global Times that it is unwise for the Indian government to impose a ban on Chinese products that are affordable and of good quality.
ZTE India Chairman and Managing Director DK Ghosh said at the India-China Business Forum in Shanghai in June that disallowing Chinese firms to participate in Indian projects would mean no competition and hence high capital and operational costs for operators.
The Indian government's curb on Chinese telecom suppliers has delayed the network rollout plans of many mobile phone companies in India.
All new mobile operators rolling out telecom networks have chosen to partner with Chinese companies, the ET reported
Guo Qiang contributed to this story
JULY 9, 2010
With Eyes on U.S. Deals, Huawei Adds Advisers
By SARA SILVER And KATHY CHEN
Looking for ways to expand in the U.S., Huawei Technologies Co. has hired a slate of American advisers aimed at assuaging national security concerns that have stymied the Chinese telecommunications-gear maker's U.S. ambitions.
Huawei has to overcome suspicions about links to the Chinese government and military, since its founder and largest shareholder, Ren Zhengfei, is a former army officer. The head of the company's U.S. operations, however, says Huawei is willing to play the long game.
Huawei has been a finalist in bidding for large U.S. contracts, including the 4G buildouts of Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc.
chicom bump for later.....
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