India’s plans to ban Chinese power firms due to concerns over cyber-attacks could backfire on India even though the move would cause losses to companies from China, a report in a state-run daily said today. “India’s reported move to block Chinese companies in the power sector seems to be new evidence of the country’s overly suspicious attitude toward China, but this could backfire given that India is still plagued by electricity shortages and unstable supply,” an article in the Global Times said today.
The article was commenting on the remarks by Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers’ Association Director General Sunil Misra that ban on Chinese equipment would protect India “from cyber-attacks because the power sector is increasingly software driven with intelligent technology and control systems being used.”
Referring to criticism that China does not allow for overseas investment in its electricity grid, the article said, “the reciprocity argument is unreasonably idealistic and doesn’t make any sense at all. Even if China allowed overseas investment in its power sector, could Indian power companies really make it into the Chinese market given their lack of development?” For a long time, Indian power companies have been calling for a complete ban on Chinese companies in the domestic power sector, citing the threat to national security, it said.
“Of course, such a prohibition, if it became real, would cause losses for Chinese companies. But it is totally unrealistic and inefficient for a country that relies heavily on foreign technology and equipment due to its own underdeveloped power sector because it would be hard and costly for India to seek substitutes for Chinese products,” it said.
“At present, Chinese companies are the major suppliers of power generation equipment in India, accounting for about 40 percent of the traditional power equipment market, according to media reports. As such, India’s boycott of Chinese equipment would be at the cost of its electricity infrastructure development, eventually making its people the biggest losers,” it added.