Huawei, the Chinese smartphone giant which is desperate to show its 5G prowess is very aggressively pushing to get license to operate in India. As India is yet to take decision on the company, Chinese officials had earlier met Vikram Misri, the Indian ambassador to China in Beijing and suggested that Indian companies operating in China would face reverse sanction if the country bans Huawei.
The Chinese aggression for Huawei could not be seen as a typical corporate lobbying by the company given the involvement of Chinese state. In fact, Chinese commerce ministry is preparing an “unreliable entity list” which will include organizations that block suppliers to Chinese companies for non-commercial reasons.
But the fact remains that China will not be able to take any major retaliatory action if India bans Huawei as trade relations are already skewed in favor of the dragon. The total trade between India and China stood at a whopping $89.71 billion in 2017-18 (April-March). The total imports from China accounted for $76.38 billion while the exports accounted for $13.33 billion. Therefore India has trade deficit of more than 60 billion dollars with its northern neighbor.
The aggressive posture and threats to ban will adversely hit the Chinese economic relations with India. It will adversely impact the prospects of Huawei to get 5G license.
A senior government official told The Indian Express, “Now that there are warnings from China (about reverse sanctions), the Indian government is also expected to adopt a different posture. If this was done through backdoor channels in the normal (diplomatic) course, it would have been better for Huawei. If the government concedes, it will be seen as pandering to Chinese (threats).”
If Huawei does not get a clearance, it will be left behind 5G rivals such as Nokia and Ericsson in the Indian telecom sector. It must be reminded that Indian telecom sector is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, which is projected to expand over 10 per cent to $103.9 billion by 2020, according to a report by Market Research Store.
According to few government officials, the ‘aggression’ in push for Huawei could negatively the prospects of company in India. “Now that there are warnings from China (about reverse sanctions), the Indian government is also expected to adopt a different posture. If this was done through backdoor channels in the normal (diplomatic) course, it would have been better for Huawei. If the government concedes, it will be seen as pandering to Chinese (threats),” said the government official.
India is yet to take decision on the company, the officials are worried over the national security threats posed by Huawei. National Security Advisory Board has already flagged security concern over Huawei’s 5G technology. “When it comes to security, we cannot take any chances,” said NSAB member V. Kamakoti who is also a professor at IIT Madras. He also made a case for indigenization of 5G technology to make the country secure.
The issue of security breach has been very harmful for Huawei in the last few months. Many major markets of Huawei like United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, and Australia have banned Huawei over security concerns.
According to Bloomberg Opinion columnist on National Security and Foreign Policy, Eli Lake, “Donald Trump’s ban on Huawei is needed as there has been ample evidence of the tech company collecting intelligence via its tech in the US.”
The espionage and security concern over Huawei have been responsible for the downward spiral of the company. Huawei gave unauthorized access of private data of users around the world to the People’s Liberation Army. The political parties and governments across the world have discussed the security breach by the company. Few governments including the US have acted while almost all political establishments have become more careful with the company. Previously tfipost.com argued for total ban on Huawei 5G networks in the following article.
China and Huawei must understand that any aggression regarding 5G license for Huawei will end the remaining prospects of company’s operations in India as well as hurt other Chinese businesses which have more than 70 billion dollar export in India.