While India remains undecided over allowing Chinese gear maker Huawei to participate in 5G trials, in the background of a US ban the Trump administration has stepped up pressure over the issue.
In a letter to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, the US administration has warned the Indian Government that Indian companies found supplying equipment or other products of American origin to Huawei or its units could face punitive action, Economic Times reports.
The External Affairs Ministry has sought the views of the Department of Telecom, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Department of Commerce, government think-tank Niti Aayog and the principal scientific adviser on the implications of US curbs on Huawei for Indian firms.
The US administration had added Huawei to a trade blacklist as it considers the Chinese company to be a security threat because under a new Chinese law it must share information with the Chinese government. This blacklisting bans any US company from supplying equipment to Huawei without government permission.
Following this, US chip makers Qualcomm and Intel, erstwhile suppliers to Huawei, severed ties. Later, Google and Facebook also followed suit.
The latest letter from the US administration comes at a time when the Indian government is holding internal top-level discussions to take a final decision on Huawei’s participation in the forthcoming 5G trials.
A ban on Huawei would leave the field open for Nokia and Ericsson. Industry watchers contend those two companies will be sourcing equipment from China, hence exposed to risks, but the two claim they have tight controls and security protocols in place.
Meanwhile Vodafone-Idea and Bharti Airtel, which have done business with Huawei in the past, are having talks with South Korean major Samsung to supply telecom gear for their forthcoming 5G network and the existing 4G network.