The Strategist

FT: India plans to refuse Huawei equipment

08/25/2020 - 11:34

India intends to gradually abandon the use of equipment of Huawei Technologies and other Chinese companies in its telecommunications networks in connection with the recent aggravation of relations between the two countries, writes the Financial Times, citing informed sources.

Kārlis Dambrāns
Kārlis Dambrāns
As a result, Huawei, which previously faced tough US restrictions, could lose access to one of its most important markets.

There was no official ban on the use of Huawei or ZTE equipment. However, according to industry executives and officials, key government ministers have made it clear that Indian telecoms providers should avoid purchasing Chinese equipment for future investment projects, including 5G.

"It is now openly said that the Indian government will not allow the use of Chinese equipment," an industry source told the FT. "There is absolute clarity. Game over."

Another interlocutor said that there is already a ban on testing equipment from Chinese companies for 5G networks.

Huawei ranks among the top three telecom equipment suppliers in India, the world's second largest mobile communications market with over 850 million users. Huawei has major contracts with Indian telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and the state-owned BSNL.

New Delhi is unlikely to impose an official ban on the use of equipment by Huawei or other Chinese companies in India, as this could provoke a harsh retaliation from Beijing, the FT source in the Indian government notes.

However, he said, the Indian authorities are very wary of potential Chinese investments in the country's key infrastructure.