China is upset India excluded Chinese equipment from 5G network trials

Why are you giving yourself a kick in the innovation economy?


China has protested India’s decision to prevent local carriers using made-in-China 5G kit in network trials.

India on Tuesday green-lit 5G tests provided local carriers use kit from Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, C-Dot, or Indian conglomerate Reliance Jio. But not Chinese vendors.

China’s response quotes Wang Xiaojian, a counsellor at its Indian embassy, as saying: “Relevant Chinese companies have been operating in India for years, providing mass job opportunities and making contribution to India's infrastructure construction in telecommunications.”

Wang added that the decision will “hinder the improvement of the Indian business environment, which is not conducive to the innovation and development of related Indian industries.” He also called for India to operate non-discriminatory policies.

India’s government has not responded to the riposte at the time of writing.

The Embassy statement ends by stating: “The Chinese side hopes that India could do more to enhance mutual trust and cooperation between the two countries, and provide an open, fair, just, and non-discriminatory investment and business environment for market entities from all countries, including China, to operate and invest in India.”

That’s very much China’s usual language in such circumstances: the nation always insists its industrial giants wish only to share their innovations with the world, and that excluding them is unfair. Register readers will be aware that several nations believe China’s network equipment providers are either bound by Chinese law to share information about client engagements with its government, or so entangled with Chinese military agencies that using their products is unacceptably risky.

While India’s decision will deprive Huawei and ZTE of future clients, Huawei recently reported that its network business is doing fine. However that may not last, as China last year installed either 1.15 million or 792,000 base stations, depending on whether you believe local carriers’ data or numbers from the Chinese government. ®

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