Huawei says it’s received a warm welcome in India

Posted at 6:48 AM, Feb 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 08:48:18-05

Huawei says it has been embraced by the Indian government despite concerns elsewhere over the security of its products.

“With all my engagements with the Indian government, nobody has told me that you have a problem,” Huawei India CEO Jay Chen told reporters on Tuesday. “Everybody said, we understand … nobody told me that we have an issue with you.”

Huawei, the world’s biggest maker of telecommunications equipment, has been on the defensive in recent months as the US government has pushed allies to rule out using its equipment in super-fast 5G mobile networks.

The United States claims that Huawei equipment could be used by China for spying.

The company has strenuously denied that its equipment poses any security risk and has criticized moves to shut it out of networks as “irresponsible decisions” made for political reasons.

Huawei said last year that it had been invited by the Indian government to conduct 5G trials in the world’s hottest smartphone market. It has carried out some initial 5G demos with Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio.

The Indian government, however, has not yet made a decision on when official 5G trials will begin. And the jury is still out when it comes to Huawei.

“We have not taken a final stand on whether we will allow Huawei to enter the Indian [5G] market. It is a wait and watch situation currently,” said S.N. Chaudhary, a spokesperson for India’s communications ministry.

The Chinese company, which sells smartphones as well as telecommunications gear, said its investment plans in India include new labs and promotional funds for the 5G ecosystem.

“I think we should launch by 2020 if the [spectrum] auctions can happen successfully this year,” Chen told CNN Business.

The world’s top tech companies have piled into India in recent years, lured by the prospect of selling smartphones and services to the country’s 1.3 billion citizens.

“We don’t want to miss out India in this. We bring all the new technology to the market. Why not in this part [of the world],” Chen asked.