Chinese telecom giant Huawei has threatened to cease its investment in India ahead of the government's plan to begin 5G trials, according to reports. Till date, Huawei is said to have invested 3.5 billion dollars in India's telecom infrastructure. Of late, concerns have been raised about Huawei's network security and the Indian government is reportedly sceptical about allowing Huawei permission for 5G trials in the country.
Talking to a newspaper, Jay Chen, CEO of Huawei India, reportedly said: “We are making 2G, 3G and 4G equipment at our Chennai unit. We are now studying the new manufacturing rates and policy. We are open to manufacture 5G equipment, and even look at exports… but if I am not allowed to participate in 5G here, then why would I have manufacturing here?”
The government will keep national interest in mind while deciding whether Chinese gear maker Huawei should be allowed to participate in 5G trials, Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash said on Tuesday. The department also hopes to conduct spectrum auction by December-end or January for which Digital Communications Commission (DCC) will take a call on the base price of airwaves, followed by a Cabinet approval. The DCC is the apex decision-making body at the Department of Telecom (DoT).
Prakash also clarified the government's position (on Huawei) that whatever is in the best national interest will be done. However, Prakash did not mention a timeline for a decision in this regard. Earlier this month, Huawei had said it is hopeful that the Indian government will treat all foreign investments "fairly" and had urged the authorities to make an "independent decision" on permitting 5G trials in the country.
Speaking at the CII India China Economic Cooperation Forum, Jay Chen had also sought to assure the Indian government that the company is fully compliant with regulations in India and of addressing concerns around cybersecurity. India is yet to decide on whether it intends to allow Huwaei to participate in the 5G trials or not.
In the US, Huawei has been facing a ban over security concerns. Earlier, the US had barred American companies from working with Huawei but has given reprieve till November.
(With PTI inputs)