Huawei issue: MEA seeks views of various depts after letter from US

Chennai: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is seeking views of various departments after the US government warned its Indian counterpart that companies found supplying equipment or other products of American origin to Huawei or its units could face punitive action.

Reports state that the letter sent on 27 May to MEA is being seen as part of US efforts to intensify pressure on India to act against the Chinese company.

The Ministry has, in turn, sought the views of the Department of Telecom (DoT), Niti Aayog, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Department of Commerce and the principal scientific adviser on the implications of US’ curbs on Huawei for Indian firms, stated an ET report.

“Three questions have been posed by the MEA — to examine information provided by the US, including possibility of action against Indian firms that supply US-origin software and equipment to Huawei and also to provide views on the recommendations of a recent 5G security conference at Prague and overall opinion on the matter,” the report quoted an official as saying.

The latest communication from the US authorities had largely to do with details of the recent ban on equipment from Huawei and a list of its units. These included 35 registered companies in China and affiliates such as Huawei Sri Lanka, Huawei Pakistan and Huawei Hong Kong, it said.

The Chinese were not invited for the conference which saw telecom chiefs from 32 countries participate. Reports state that the conference recommended that governments adopt 5G network standards that Huawei might not be able to meet, due to Chinese laws requiring cooperation in intelligence-gathering efforts.

NT Bureau