Monday, 26 October 2020 08:09

US official pushes India to ban Huawei, ZTE from mobile networks Featured

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US official pushes India to ban Huawei, ZTE from mobile networks Pixabay

An American official has told India it needs to shut out Chinese vendors Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corporation from the country's forthcoming 5G trials and also remove the companies' gear from other networks.

Greg Kalbaugh, deputy under secretary for policy at the International Trade Administration, a US Department of Commerce agency, told an online event organised by lobby group US India Business Council, in the Indian capital New Delhi: “I would encourage the government of India to review the risk to India’s communications networks to undertake appropriate measures to remove and exclude equipment from Huawei, ZTE, and other untrusted vendors from India’s 5G networks and broader ICT infrastructure."

The Indian publication The Print reported that Kalbaugh said Chinese vendors could not be trusted as they were under the thumb of the country's government.

“As India, the US and many other countries have already experienced, utilising technologies from untrusted vendors that are subject to the control of the government of China is an unacceptable risk,” he said.

“China has used global communications networks to undertake aggressive economic espionage, to stifle free speech, to violate the privacy and personal data of our citizens, and disrupt the operations of other countries’ networks.”

India has already hinted that it may shut out the two Chinese vendors after deadly border clashes earlier this year led to bilateral ties plunged to their lowest point in the last 40 years.

The US has campaigned for more than two years to try and push countries it considers allies to avoid using 5G equipment from Huawei in their networks. Thus far, Australia and Vietnam have said openly that they would follow the US' lead. Sweden recently became the third country to say so openly.

Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Poland have indicated that they are likely to toe the US line, but have yet to make public pronouncements about what policy they would follow.

The UK broke ranks with the US in January, saying it would allow Huawei to supply up to a third of equipment for non-core parts of its 5G networks but more recently changed its stance, saying it would remove Huawei gear completely by 2027.

iTWire contacted Huawei Australia for its reaction but the company said it had no comment.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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