NEW DELHI: Weeks after the government took steps to designate a ‘trusted source’ criteria for procuring infrastructure for mobile services, Chinese telecom major Huawei has approached top echelons of the government to get a “fair chance and level-playing field” in the Indian telecom sector, including participation in the 5G business.
The company is looking to file application for the infrastructure modernisation programmes initiated by state-owned BSNL and MTNL, and said it is awaiting criteria for being categorised as a ‘trusted source’ in the telecom space.
Huawei has been doing business in India for over two decades and is a major supplier to top operators such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea. The company said that its operations here are “complaint with all the rules and regulations” that have been mandated by the government.
“We need a fair opportunity to do business in India. We have followed the rule book and law of the land when doing business in India, and expect fair-play and a level-playing field, just like others,” Huawei India CEO David Li told TOI in his first interview after assuming charge during the corona period last year.
TOI has learnt that the company’s representations have been sent to various wings of the government, including the Prime Minister’s Office, the National Security Advisor’s office, and the home and telecom ministries. Li confirmed the representations but did not provide details on offices they were addressed to.
Spiralling tensions between India and China have impacted business relations between the two countries and the government here has taken action against a number of Chinese companies, including top app makers, after accusing them of engaging in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.
Huawei has faced the heat over allegations of data law violations, including possible leakage of information of Indian citizens and enterprises with elements in China. Li denied any such report, and said the company pays utmost respect to data privacy laws. “No data gets compromised ever. In any case, we have no access to data. Our networks are fully compliant with security standards and international certifications.”
The company is bullish on India, despite the recent troubles due to diplomatic tensions. “India is a strategic long-term market for us. We have faith in the Indian government and believe in PM Narendra Modi’s vision and Digital India initiative.”
The company has been selling telecom network equipment in India and also has a R&D centre in the country, which is the largest outside home market China.