India bans Chinese network equipment

Prompted by national security concerns, Indian authories have banned telecommunications providers from importing Chinese-manufactured components, a newspaper report claims.

The embargo applies to networking equipment giants including ZTE and Huawei and has reportedly caused major disruption for India’s mobile carriers.
"Proposals for procurement of equipment from Chinese original equipment manufacturing vendors have not been recommended due to security concerns," wrote India’s department of telecommunications in a letter to the prime minister’s office, as seen by the Financial Times. "Therefore, the proposals from the service providers for purchase of Chinese equipment is turned down."

Earlier this month, an academic report from the University of Toronto claimed that hackers originating in China had illegally accessed computers belonging to India’s Ministry of Defence.

This is not the first time that Chinese networking equipment vendors have suffered security suspicions. In 2008, Huawei’s attempt to acquire American network infrastructure components manufacturer 3Com – whose TippingPoint subsidiary provides security software to US authorities – ran aground following opposition from US regulators.

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei is a former officer in China’s People’s Liberation Army and rumours at the time suggested that any takeover of 3Com would place the Shenzhen-based vendor uncomfortably close to the nerve centre of US government.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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