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    'If Huawei Banned in India, It Will Bring Indians More Harm Than Good' – Chinese Professor

    © AP Photo / Saurabh Das
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    China has warned India of retaliatory sanctions if the country interferes with the normal operation of Huawei. India intends to build a 5G pilot network. However, so far the country's authorities have not responded whether or not to allow the participation of Chinese telecommunications companies, including Huawei.

    In turn, China has made it clear to India that it is better to not follow the lead of the United States; otherwise, Indian companies operating in China may also be subject to counter-sanctions.

    Earlier, Indian Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced that within the next 100 days, tests of 5G technologies in the country's telecommunication networks will commence.

    According to the minister, applications for participation in the tests have been filed by six companies, including Huawei. At the same time, Indian authorities have not yet decided whether the Chinese telecommunications giant will be allowed to participate in the tests.

    After the United States declared Huawei a threat to national security and began to put pressure on other countries, urging them to abandon the use of Chinese equipment in their telecommunication networks, a dilemma arose for US partners - primarily their allies.

    A logo of Huawei is displayed at a electronic retail shop in Hong Kong, Friday, March 29, 2019. Chinese tech giant Huawei's deputy chairman defended its commitment to security Friday after a stinging British government report added to Western pressure on the company by accusing it of failing to repair dangerous flaws in its telecom technology.
    A logo of Huawei is displayed at a electronic retail shop in Hong Kong, Friday, March 29, 2019. Chinese tech giant Huawei's deputy chairman defended its commitment to security Friday after a stinging British government report added to Western pressure on the company by accusing it of failing to repair dangerous flaws in its telecom technology.

    On the one hand, the Americans are threatening to suspend the exchange of sensitive intelligence with all countries where the telecommunications infrastructure relies on Chinese equipment. On the other hand, even the existing 4G networks in many US-allied countries, such as the UK, are built primarily on Chinese equipment.

    Thus, abandoning Huawei means, first of all, the need to rebuild the entire supporting infrastructure, which is very expensive and time-consuming. Secondly, in terms of the development of 5G technology, Huawei has moved much further than its competitors.

    By the number of basic 5G patents, for example, Huawei holds first place with 2,160 patents. Nokia has 1,516 patents, and Ericsson is only at sixth place. At the same time, the Chinese company offers package technological solutions at a much lower price than European competitors.

    India's existing telecommunications networks are heavily dependent on Huawei. Replacing the company's technological solutions with a similar price-to-quality ratio simply doesn't work, Chinese expert Dai Yonghong, a professor at Sichuan University's Centre of South Asian Studies, explained.

    "In the field of telecommunications, Chinese companies, including Huawei, are actively making their way to the Indian market, and there are no prerequisites for India to blindly follow Washington's will. Although India has made great strides in the development of software, in the field of IT hardware, including telecommunications equipment, its competencies cannot be compared with Chinese ones.

    Richard Yu, head of Huawei's consumer business group, unveils the company's new HarmonyOS operating system at the Huawei Developer Conference in Dongguan, Guangdong province, China August 9, 2019
    © REUTERS / CHINA STRINGER NETWORK
    Richard Yu, head of Huawei's consumer business group, unveils the company's new HarmonyOS operating system at the Huawei Developer Conference in Dongguan, Guangdong province, China August 9, 2019

    Therefore, Huawei, from the technical point of view, and from the point of view of cost or after-sales service, simply cannot be replaced. So I think that the appropriate Indian structures responsible for regulation or technologies will make a reasonable choice. If Huawei is banned in India, these actions will bring the country much more harm than good".

    The expert notes that in the event of a ban on the products of Chinese companies, first and foremost it is Indian consumers who will be harmed. And they are very sensitive to the price factor.

    "India is to some extent dependent on Chinese telecommunications equipment in its infrastructure because Chinese companies have long been present on the Indian market and have achieved significant success. Moreover, they have made some contribution to the socio-economic development of India. Here, India should take into account the experience of many years of successful cooperation with China. This applies not only to Huawei, but also ZTE, Xiaomi, OPPO, and other companies.

    Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has hit the tech world by storm, recently raising $1.1 billion in finance, receiving a $45 billion valuation, and battling for third place in the global smartphone market
    © REUTERS / Anindito Mukherjee
    Three models of China's Xiaomi Mi phones are pictured during their launch in New Delhi in this July 15, 2014 file photo

    All the Indians we talked to use Xiaomi or OPPO smartphones. Firstly, this is because Chinese technology has made significant progress. Secondly, it is because prices for Chinese products are very competitive. Finally, China offers excellent after-sales services. So if the Indian authorities prohibit Chinese companies, including Huawei, from participating in the development of new technologies, then, first of all, Indian consumers will experience difficulties. Furthermore, it will have a significant impact on Indian production".

    China, for its part, also does not want to lose the significant Indian market. Therefore, Chinese authorities are worried about which decision will ultimately be taken in New Delhi.

    According to Reuters' reports, Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri was called to the Chinese Foreign Ministry. During the meeting, Chinese officials warned the ambassador of possible reciprocal sanctions against Indian companies doing business in China if the country follows the US lead.

    There are not so many Indian companies in China. They mainly specialise in software development, financial services, outsourcing, and engineering – Infosys, TCS, Dr Reddy's and Mahindra & Mahindra. The Chinese market is also very important for these companies, so the bickering with Beijing will be extremely sensitive for them.

    On the other hand, in the case of Huawei, India may find a compromise. The National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) has announced that if the software is developed by Indian companies, the Chinese hardware will in no way pose a major threat to national security. In this case, the country will be able to kill two birds with one stone.

    On the one hand, it will be able to develop its software industry, in which the country already has considerable competitive advantages, and on the other hand, receive high-quality and inexpensive equipment from China. Then India will quickly build a new generation of networks, and at the same time, maintain relations with its influential neighbour.

    Views and opinions, expressed in the article are those of Dai Yonghong and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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