Huawei Research and Development Centre in Bangalore, India. Photo: AFP
The Huawei Research and Development Center in Bangalore, India. Photo: AFP

With US Internet giant Google’s decision to sever ties with Chinese telecom company Huawei, ripple effects are expected to be felt in India, where Huawei sells mobile-phone handsets and supplies gear to telecom companies.

While India’s Department of Telecommunications is yet to make a formal call on allowing Chinese vendors – Huawei and ZTE – to be involved in deployment of fifth-generation (5G) technology in India, the government is likely to allow Huawei to participate in the upcoming 5G field trials, reports Economic Times.

The 5G trials are vendor neutral and there’s no question of blocking or keeping any vendor away, the daily added, quoting an Indian government official.

Huawei’s current 4G equipment supplies to Indian companies are unlikely to be hit in the short term, as it reportedly has enough inventory to last for a year. Both Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel use Huawei’s 4G gear in several telecom circles.

However, the US ban is expected to slow down its business in India. As for handsets, Huawei has clarified that it will continue to sell Android-based smartphones from its existing stocks, but industry observers feel future sales may take a hit.

In India Huawei sells handsets under the brand names Huawei and Honor, with the former catering to high-end clientele and the latter to budget consumers.

It was aiming to widen its market share in India with the rollout of 5G technology. However, with this new ban the launch of its new devices is expected to be suspended until a way out from the current impasse is found.

Apart from the Android operating system, Huawei also stands to lose access to Google Media Services, which includes Gmail, Maps, and access to Play Store.

Google decided to suspend ties with Huawei after the administration of US President Donald Trump added the Chinese company to a trade blacklist, as the administration considers the company to be a security threat. The move in effect bans Huawei from buying parts and components from US companies without US government approval.

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