Huawei India CEO Jay Chen said he was pleasantly surprised to hear Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal supporting the Chinese telecom gear company. Earlier, Mittal lent his support to Huawei while speaking at the World Economic Forum in New Delhi. In an email statement, Huawei India chief said he was pleasantly surprised to hear Mittal expressing his views publicly on the company technology, solutions and services in this manner.
"We have always been pushed by Bharti management team to do better and improve more under pressure...Today myself, and my whole team humbly feels more obligated to serve Bharti and all our customers from our heart," Chen added.
Airtel chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal earlier supported Huawei saying its products are "leading edge" and "superior" to rivals, and asserted that the firm "should be in play." Mittal's remarks came amid the US ban on Huawei over "security issues" ahead of 5G adoption. Mittal said while speaking at the World Economic Forum in New Delhi that Huawei has become "extremely good" with its products in the past 10-12 years.
The US has blacklisted Huawei. Speaking at the World Economic Forum, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said the Trump administration's opposition to the Chinese company was not about protectionism but "genuine security risks" that go beyond the front-end equipment, percolating to even areas such as upgrades and maintenance.
Huawei has applied for 5G trials in India. But the government is still deciding whether Huawei should be allowed to participate in 5G trials in the country. Earlier, Huawei India CEO reportedly threatened to cease its investment in India if denied permission for 5G trials. Till date, Huawei is said to have invested 3.5 billion dollars in India's telecom infrastructure.
Mittal said that the government will have to decide for itself its relationship with China. Asked specifically about his views on Huawei and which way India should lean on this issue, Mittal said, "My view is that they should be in play. I really feel they should be in play. India must use this as leverage."
The central government has already made it clear that it will keep national interest in mind while making the decision on Huawei's participation in India's 5G trials.
(With PTI inputs)