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

While India has yet to decide if Chinese telecom giant Huawei will be included in forthcoming 5G trials, reports suggest China may take retaliatory action if the mainland company is barred.

India is due to hold trials for installing a next-generation 5G cellular network in the next few months.

According to a news agency report, the Chinese establishment has expressed their concern with Indian embassy officials in Beijing about the US campaign against Huawei and they said they hoped India would take an independent judgment.

However, they indicated that if India blocks Huawei under pressure from Washington, China would resort to “reverse sanctions” on Indian firms doing business in the mainland.

Certain Indian firms such as Infosys, TCS, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Reliance Industries and Mahindra & Mahindra have a presence in China in manufacturing, healthcare, financial services and outsourcing.

Donald Trump’s administration has been asking its allies and friends, including India, to block Huawei from using 5G infrastructure, citing security and espionage concerns.

US alleges blackmail

Meanwhile, a US Congressman has alleged that China was “blackmailing” India into using Huawei for its 5G infrastructure. Congressman Jim Banks of the Republican party alleged the Chinese Communist Party was “strong-arming countries into exposing themselves to surveillance and espionage.”

Earlier, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said if a country adopts Huawei technology, the US “won’t be able to share” information with them. “We won’t be able to work alongside them,” he said.

Huawei assurance

In June, Huawei India Chief Executive Officer Jay Chen expressed a willingness to sign a “no backdoor” agreement with India to ensure its equipment could not be used for malicious purposes.

Despite this assurance, India remains cautious about allowing Huawei’s participation in its 5G rollout process. A group of officials, led by the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Indian government Dr K Vijay Raghavan and including representatives from the departments of telecoms, information technology and the intelligence services, has been looking into whether to open the 5G trials to Huawei.

Also Read: India yet to decide on Huawei

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