Huawei seeks India meeting over telcom ban

Huawei seeks India meeting over telcom ban

New Delhi: Chinese telecoms maker Huawei Technologies is planning to meeting senior Indian officials to persuade them its equipment poses no security threat, a report said Tuesday,

The move comes after New Delhi last week blocked sales between Indian mobile phone operators and Chinese equipment firms, which the Economic Times quoted a person with knowledge of the development as saying had halted dozens of deals.

While the government insists there is no blanket ban, Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese telecom equipment company, say no new contracts have been approved since 18 February.

Huawei’s executive vice-president, Xu Zhijun, and its president for Asia-Pacific, Wang Shengli, will meet officials from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s office and other key ministries from 7 May, the newspaper said.

The restrictions have the potential to stoke already tense trade relations between two of Asia’s fastest-growing economies.

As part of efforts to convince India it poses no security threat, Huawei has told the government it is restructuring its Indian operations so that the chairman and board of directors of the local arm will all be Indian residents.

In a letter to the prime minister’s office, Huawei wrote it is “not just a Chinese company" as 85% of its staff — and nearly all of its research and development workforce — in the country are Indians.

Since 2005, the home ministry has warned repeatedly that foreign telecom equipment vendors, especially Chinese, may install spyware and malware that could monitor voice and data traffic and bring down networks.

“Huawei is willing to give additional information that the Indian government agencies require. This is our commitment," Huawei Telecommunications India CEO Yang Kaijun wrote in the letter last week to the government, the report said.

Huawei India could not be reached for comment. A spokesman from the prime minister’s office said he could not immediately make any statement.

Telecom operators also say they are not being allowed to buy equipment from Chinese vendors that also are reported to include Maipu Communications, Comverse and UTStarcom.