Issue :   
July 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.    Wishing You All a Happy New Year.       July 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:June' 2019


Are Huawei operations
security risk ?

M. R. Dua

While the Trump administration imposed a strict ban on exports to the Chinese telecommunication company,Huawei, the world’s largest maker of network gear, India has calculatingly remained uninvolved.
Not only the US, but at least four other countries, Canada, Britain, Australia and Germany, too are said to have expressed serious doubts whether Huawei is being genuinely honest, truthful and authentic in its commercial dealings.
The Trump administration officials believed that China could yoke the Huaweimanufactured telecom equipment.

According to a US Congress report, ‘Huawei did not fully cooperate with investigations and was unwilling to explain its relationship with the Chinese government or the Chinese Communist party while credible evidence existed that it failed to comply with US laws.’

In India, though the China’s 5G telecom manufacturer has already large cliental and loyal following, New Delhi earnestly and discretely endeavours to keep aloof from any ugly contest that might adversely hurt India’s already delicate ties with Beijing, and would thus prefer to stay as a close US ally as far as possible. Besides, as India prepares to launch its own 5G dream project in 2020 for mobile connectivity along with the US, South Korea, China, and Japan, it’ll only be prudent for New Delhi to distance itself from any conflict. However, policy change could occur.

While Sino-US trade tensions keep mounting, Huawei’s operations will be stalled due to Washington’s strict ban on suppliers for ‘crucial phone components and software.’ Huawei will face stout spokes in its search for developing ‘new and pathbreaking models of communication’ gadgets.

Though the US ban may not immediately hamper business of India’s telecom operators, including Bharati Airtel, Vodafone Idea, etc.,albeit the fact is that the Huawei-made telecom gear is crucial and cheap component, India feels that the newlyplanned telecom 5G could be affected.

According to “Forbes’ Most Valuable Brands List, 2018”, Huawei employs 188,000 workers, operates worldwide in 170 countries; its revenue was $107 billion. It’s multifariously engaged in making smart phones, microchips, providing cloud services,and running undersea cables, ferrying global internet traffic.

Several US allies, including Japan, India and many tech companies globally, have supported American allegations against Huawei. The American government is likely to provide $700 million in grants to help US telecom providers with the cost of removing Huawei equipment from their networks, and to block the use of equipment or services from Huawei and other Chinese telecom firm, including ZTE in nextgeneration 5G networks.

Trump, last month, lashed out at Beijing in a White House statement: “Huawei is very dangerous... you look what they have done from a security standpoint, from a military standpoint; very dangerous.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had also accused Huawei’s CEO Ren Zengfei of lying about his company’s lack of ties to the Beijing government, which Pompeo said, represented a security risk. The company is deeply tied not only to China but to the Chinese Communist party. And that connectivity puts American information networks, at risk. Huawei has repeatedly denied that it is controlled by the Chinese government, military or intelligence services.

Any business or trading move initiated either by the US or China, is bound to influence international trade and commerce fiercely. Even an odd, trivial trading Sino-US conflict will push global trade in tough turfs forcing their allies or adversaries, to choose US or China. A hard choice indeed!