24 June 2019
New Delhi: With its participation in the 5G rollout in India still in doubt as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo likely to raise security concerns during his visit to India this week, a top Huawei executive on Monday said New Delhi should offer the company a level-playing field.
Huawei has found itself in the midst of a global trade war, with the US President Donald Trump's administration fiercely campaigning against the participation of the Chinese telecommunication giant in the 5G rollouts of its allies on suspicion of China using Huawei equipment for spying on other nations.
Huawei has denied the allegation all along.
Huawei India CEO Jay Chen cautioned India against making wrong decision "under pressure" and said that it should stick to its open and collaborative approach while dealing with the world.
"The next 10 years could be golden years of growth for India. India should take the best of the world to achieve the target it has set for itself such as the target of making the country a $1 trillion dollar digital economy by 2025," Chen told IANS during an interaction here.
India and the US are likely to discuss Huawei's participation in the country's 5G rollout during Pompeo's three-day visit to the country starting Tuesday.
India has already formed a panel to look into the concerns arising out of the the world's biggest telecom equipment supplier's participation in 5G.
"In the past eight months, we have given all updates and clarifications on all issues including 5G network security and architecture. The feedback that we have received so far have been very positive and we are hopeful that we will get the green signal," Chen noted.
Huawei said if it gets to participate in the 5G rollout of the country, it will scale up investment in areas such as boosting the start-up ecosystem of the country, collaborating with the academic institutions and increasing its manufacturing activities.
Chen burst out in laughter when asked whether he would continue as the company's India CEO if Huawei fails to get the nod for 5G in India.
"I do not know," was his immediate answer.
"I think my bosses has full confidence on this market and that the Indian government will take an independent decision," Chen added.
Huawei predicts there would be the 2.8 billion 5G users by 2025, and looks seriously at India to offset losses it is going to incur in the wake of US ban.
Speaking about the smartphone business in the country after the US trade ban, Chen said that there has not been much of an impact.
"The India smartphone business is not very big for Huawei. So we do not see it taking a big hit," said the executive.