Amidst all the talks about including Huawei in 5G trials, the Indian government has decided to penalise Indian companies who will supply US technologies to Huawei.
The news was confirmed by Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in the Parliament, reports PTI. In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Prasad said: “Any Indian company which will act as a supplier of U.S.-origin equipment, software, technology to Huawei and its affiliates in entity list could be subject to penal action/sanction under US regulations”.
Even if the ban on Huawei has been softened by the US, the Chinese company has still been put on the US Government’s Entities List, meaning some restrictions are still in place. Prasad elaborated that “Huawei’s inclusion in the entity list implies that US companies require a prior export licence for sale of any equipment/software/technology to Huawei”.
As for Huawei’s role in the upcoming 5G trials, Prasad disclosed that no decision has been made on whether to opt for or omit Huawei from supplying its 5G gear in India.
China asks India to include Huawei in 5G trials
Separately, China has now urged India to not be “exclusive” and include Huawei in the 5G trials. A senior Chinese official Yang Yanyi has said: “We need to guard against the attempt of forces in the west to keep control of science [and] technology, and they cannot stomach the fact that developing countries can also excel in technology”.
As for Huawei’s allegations over security, Yang said that the US should be “ashamed for trying to exert state power to suppress a Chinese company”. She said that the US had “no evidence to prove that there is a security threat, and are working on people’s fears”.
The Chinese government’s request to include Huawei in 5G trials comes at the same time when the US is requesting India to opt against purchasing 5G telecom equipment from Huawei for security concerns. In a letter sent to the Indian Department of Commerce in early June, US’ Department of Commerce advised that India look into the issues revolving around security before the deployment of 5G equipment.
Where is Huawei in terms of 5G and what will happen if it gets omitted
In the race to 5G, Huawei has secured 50 commercial 5G contracts outside China, making it the leading 5G equipment supplier in the world. The company has also shipped more than 1,50,000 base stations around the world. Huawei itself urged India to make an informed decision on the upcoming 5G trials last month, independent of its status with the US.
In case Huawei fails to get permission to compete in the Indian 5G trials, it’ll mean cellular technology in India will soon be replaced by equipment from Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung who are banking on Huawei being excluded from the list of 5G equipment vendors to boost their 5G deals in the country.