Concerned over a report of the US Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Chinese telecom companies Huawei and ZTE, India will soon take up the matter in the Cabinet Committee of Security headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to examine the potential threat for India.
The US senate committee report, authored by its chairman Mike Rogers said that the risks associated with Huawei’s and ZTE’s provision of equipment to US critical infrastructure could undermine core US national-security interests.
Released by the US government last month, the 60-page report said, “Based on available classified and unclassified information, Huawei and ZTE cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus pose a security threat to the United States and to our systems.”
Raising the issue, Economic Affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram asked the Department of Telecom to bring the matter in CCS for further discussion.
“The proposed meeting will be attended by officials of Finance Ministry, Department of Telecom and security agencies and will examine and may recommend whether a probe needs to be carried out against these two companies or a check should be maintained about their expansion in Indian telecom market,” sources said.
Ministry and security will also look into the US report to assess whether the potential risks envisaged are possible and if any pre-emptive steps are needed to neutralise the threat.
However, both the companies maintained that there was nothing wrong in their operations and that they would be complying with all security norms of the Indian government.
“Huawei has been contributing to the growth of Indian telecom industry for over a decade and has fully complied and cooperated with all the mandatory requirements of India. Going forward we are fully committed to India and ready to provide necessary cooperation to the government,”Huawei spokesperson Suresh Vaidyanathan said.
ZTE spokesperson Cui Liagjun said ZTE India was an Indian-registered company and bound to follow and following all the compliance with the laws of land for more than 13 years since its existence in Indian market.
“Being a global leader in telecom equipments, we are determined to comply by all laws of the country,”Liagjun said.
The US committee in its report had observed that the companies failed to provide evidence that would satisfy any fair and full investigation, although this alone does not prove wrongdoing, it factors into the committee’s conclusions.