Huawei has become the center of controversy yet again. After the ups and downs with the future of their business in the West, it seems that a lot of trouble is brewing between neighbouring countries, China and India. In between this major kerfuffle, lies Huawei in the center of it all.
Thanks to an exclusive report by Reuters, notable sources have confirmed that China has warned India with severe consequences if Huawei Technologies is banned from doing business within India. This is prefaced with India’s development to install next-generation 5G networks in the country and the unmade decision on whether Huawei will be involved in this endeavour or not, seeing as how they are the biggest manufacturers of 5G equipment.
The Trump Administration’s warning to their allies to hold off on using Huawei products were made earlier this year citing national security concerns, seems to have led to India’s hesitation on using Huawei tech for their 5G network. China, in turn, has threatened India with “reverse sanctions” on the country, basically cutting off trade ties between the two countires if things go south in this 5G development.
China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Hua Chunying, had this to say: “Huawei has carried out operations in India for a long time, and has made contributions to the development of Indian society and the economy that is clear to all. On the issue of Chinese enterprises participating in the construction of India’s 5G, we hope the Indian side makes an independent and objective decision, and provides a fair, just and non-discriminatory commercial environment for Chinese enterprises’ investment and operations, to realise mutual benefit.”
India’s Telecoms Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, has clarified that other companies, on top of Huawei, has been considered for the 5G trials, including Sweden’s Ericsson, South Korea’s Samsung, and Finland's Nokia. Prasad’s committee that is establishing India’s 5G network, has also found no evidence of Huawei tech being used to spy on the Indian government. In any case, India’s National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) has suggested is to ensure the hardware and software for the proposed 5G network are not both sourced from Huawei.
Overall, only time will tell on what measures China and India will take in this matter. This October, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host Chinese President Xi Jinping in the city of Varanasi, where the two world leaders are expected to address trade issues including a $53 billion trade deficit in 2018/19, and hopefully resolve this 5G network issue as well.