China on Wednesday sought “level playing field, transparent and fair environment” for its enterprises in India while expressing concern over New Delhi’s reported move to exclude Chinese telecom companies Huawei and ZTE from 5G trials. According to a report in China’s state-run ‘Global Times’ on Sunday, the India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had barred Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp from the list of companies allowed to work with local companies in 5G technology-based trials due to “security” concerns.
The move follows the US and Australia in banning Huawei and ZTE for national security reasons, it said. However, a top DoT official had said they were in the process of setting up a panel which will decide on areas where 5G technology can be used. Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan told PTI on September 14 that “companies have come up with preliminary use cases. We are going to set up core group which will sit with them and look at what are the use cases that make sense to us”.
Sundararajan said DoT had approached Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, Cisco and NEC for development of 5G applications and running trials on the suggestion of Stanford University Professor Emeritus Arogyaswami J Paulraj – a member of the 5G panel that recently suggested spectrum roadmap for the technology.
“We wrote to Ericsson, Nokia, Cisco, Samsung and NEC. Huawei has met me and they have said that they are interested. We said if you are interested then send us a proposal. We will see what their proposal is and we may go with them also,” she said. In Beijing, reacting to media reports, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing, “I have seen relevant reports. The Chinese government has always encouraged overseas Chinese enterprises to abide by international rules and local laws while pursuing economic cooperation overseas”.
“We hope the relevant country would offer level playing field and a transparent fair environment for Chinese enterprises,” he said, replying to a question about India’s reported move to exclude Huawei and ZTE from taking part in the 5G trials. “Economic cooperation between India and China is for mutual benefits and for win-win results. Overall, such cooperation between both sides is going on smoothly,” Geng said.
“We’re cooperating actively with local telecom operators and the Indian government, and local authorities and partners hold an open attitude toward cooperating with us in meeting demand for 5G network construction,” a Huawei official said in a statement quoted in the report last week. The Chinese company is also working normally with the local telecom operators on 5G trials, Huawei added. In August, the US banned government personnel from using Huawei technologies while Australia barred the company from providing equipment to support the country’s new telecommunications networks.