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China could put ‘reverse sanctions’ on Indian companies if Huawei’s business is blocked: report

Indian firms operating in China could face “reverse sanctions” by the Chinese government if India blocks Huawei from doing business in the country, reports Reuters. China’s foreign ministry summoned India’s ambassador in Beijing, Vikram Misri on July 10 to explain their concerns about the U.S. campaign in keeping Huawei out of 5G mobile infrastructure worldwide, according to the report. The Chinese foreign ministry said Huawei’s contribution to India’s society and economy “is clear to all” and India should make an “independent and fair” decision on Huawei, per the report. It is worth noting that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is planning to hold the auction of 5G spectrum by October this year.

The US has sent a letter to India asking not to supply American products to Huawei: China’s concerns arise because the US added Huawei to a trade blacklist amid escalating trade tensions with China in May 2019, and has since urged its allies – including India – to also cut ties with the Chinese firm. The US considers Huawei to be an arm of the Chinese government and thus a threat to its national security. Washington, in a letter sent to the Ministry of External Affairs on May 27, “warned” the Indian government that Indian companies that supply American-origin products to Huawei could face severe punishment.

Huawei has proposed to participate in India’s 5G trails: On June 26, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed Parliament that the government has received six proposals for 5G trials that include China’s Huawei and its sister ZTE. He also said that 5G field trials would be carried out only by licensed telecom service providers in a restrictive, limited geographical area and for specific use case. Prasad further added that a committee headed by the principal scientific advisor has been set up to look at issues, including security, relating to 5G trials in India. The report said that the committee has found no evidence to suggest Huawei has used “back-door” programs or malware to collect data in its current operations in India. Before that, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said that any decision made around Huawei’s participation in 5G trials would be “strategic” as it will have significant trade and geopolitical implications.

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