In modern world technology has become the most important part of human life,
human cannot survive without technology. Through inventive mind and technology,
the human had developed smartphones, which makes the day to day life easy. In
present, China is one of the leading producers of cheap telecommunications
devices and electronic goods in the world. China’s success in making globally
competitive tele-communications firms has led the Chinese government’s desire to
hold its position in next generation Information Technology (IT). China is the
world’s one of the leading producers of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Although there has been rapid increase in these IoT devices, yet there are
shortcomings in these devices which has exposed them to many vulnerabilities of
intelligence, infringement with personal data and cyber-attacks etc.
Shortcomings In Huawei
Chinese giant telecom company Huawei is the world’s leading producer of
electronic goods, but US government recently blocked Huawei products in US
market on the grounds of national security, this contention was made in
consideration of cyber security and hacking of foreign network.
There are security problems related to 5G network. 5G technologies are expected
to support interconnected or autonomous devices, such as smart homes,
self-driving vehicles, precision agriculture systems, industrial machinery, and
advanced robotics. In addition, personal data collected by thousands of IoT
devices could be stolen by malicious actors.The severe security protections
and universal connectivity of IoT devices create chances of vulnerability that
hackers or malicious state actors can exploit to hold critical infrastructure,
businesses and individuals at risk.
What Is Its Impact In India?
India is under tremendous pressure from USA, and at the same time Chinese
government is also pushing Huawei in Indian telecom sector with 5G network
infrastructure. Evidently India is failing to resist US pressure on Iran and
Venezuela oil issue. USA has threatened 5G, Huawei and India, 10 drastic
reduction of H-1B visa to India if we go ahead with our data localisation
policy.All these are not good advertisement for India’s strategic autonomy.
If US does not support Huawei with Intel processor, android licensing will get
blocked and Huawei phones will have no access to Google Playstore and other
applications like Facebook, WhatsApp etc. This would not put major impact on
Indian telecom sector, however there will be increase in sale of phones which
having above applications access. Sale of substitute products will increase.
Effects on Indian Telecom Sector if US blocks support to Huawei; an Analysis:
- There will be delay in instalment of 5G network infrastructure in the
country and then there will be higher cost of 5G deployment. Costly rollouts
would make 5G services exorbitant to the consumers, it will possibly be
limiting the transformative impact of high-speed technology. Spectrum sales
would also suffer.
- There is huge investment of 2.5 Billion of Huawei Money in India market.
The company has considerable Indian employees working for it. If US blocks
Huawei, it will create huge impact on the Indian Economy. Economy will be
evidently denied the benefits of money of 5G investments. It will dastardly
effect the already dwindling employment sector. India is losing its man
power. Educated unemployed youth is a major concern which cannot be
overlooked. Other Chinese Companies will hesitate to invest money in India.
- The people who have Huawei phone would suffer technical problems because
companies like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea are using Huawei gear.
- India has not been very good in leveraging its market. It is important
for India to achieve the strategic objectives, the higher the stakes in the
Indian market, the greater the potential political leverage for India. In
2009, the State-run telecom giant Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), in
spite of strong opposition from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the defence
ministry, awarded the contract for telecom equipment to Chinese company
Huawei for only southern states.
The idea given was that Southern parts of India does not share sensitive
borders with countries such as Pakistan, China and Bangladesh as they have
no international land borders. In today’s networked world this logic is
weak. The Huawei crisis must also be viewed from the border threat and
disruptions of systems during a bilateral crisis. The decision on what is
the role of Huawei, if at all, in building India’s 5G network infrastructure
has to be taken after conducting a cost benefit assessment, given the nature
of the bilateral relationship.
- India’s telecom sector players including the state owned BSNL to
Reliance have been using Huawei products and hardware for more than a decade
because it is considerably less expensive and the telecom companies get
loans from Chinese banks. The security concerns were always there. Now,
banning Huawei product would create huge impact on telecom sector of India.
- These were the projected impacts which would have affected Indian
Telecom Sector drastically. A no-ban atmosphere has allowed some space to
heal the bilateral ties without effecting each other’s economy. It was a
much-needed escape as it allowed India to buy some time and fix its other
economic issues. However, this is not the end of this issue.
It needs to be dealt with a critical approach keeping in mind the economics
of the country is at stake. Huawei will not lose it easily. It will
definitely put a stronger game by boosting and making its system at par with
other competing systems. Security issues can be resolved and the contention
for the proposed ban seems completely politically driven. This attitude
between countries will not only hamper diplomacy but will also lead to
greater losses for the common man. This issue needs to be decimated
carefully to see its effect on the common man.
In light of the views expressed, the authors conclude that, India-China
relationship is very complex with deep mistrust protected under the impressive
diplomacy by both the countries. India has fought a war with China. The land
boundary dispute between the two countries remains unresolved. China has
constructed road in Doklam which create tension between the two countries.
Chinese build up and construction activity, not just along the Line of Actual
Control (LAC) but also in sensitive regions such as the Doklam Plateau continue
despite the tense 2017 standoff. China’s deep military ties with Pakistan along
with it provides for Pakistan based terrorists are testimonies of China’s
intentions. Security concerns from India’s perspective become important, to
avoid this India’s telecom sector has to make its own telecom giant to provide
better telecommunication and telecom services. But India does not have its own
telecom equipment manufacturer. Security can only be ensured by indigenous
For projects like Digital India and Make in India much efforts in development of
indigenous network equipment capability are yet to be made. By blocking the sale
of Huawei India’s security concerns are not eliminated. India should follow
other countries. What the Europeans countries are doing and how they developed
their telecom sector can make India grow from its mistakes. India has nothing to
do in hurry. India should wait and not to get involved in the matter and should
not commit anything now in spite of extreme US pressure and try to develop its
own telecom sector. At present tactful handling of the international relation
and the art of diplomacy can alone save Indian Telecom sector from suffering the
projected losses. But now the USA has removes the ban on Huawei products, it is
available in the market.
- Hoehn, John R. Sayler, Kelley M., National Security Implications of
Fifth Generation (5G) Mobile Technologies, June 12,
- Maj Gen PK Mallick, 5G-Huawei and India, Vivekananda International
Foundation, July 2019, https://www.vifindia.org/sites/default/files/5g-huawei-and-india_0.pdf.
- Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd), 2+2 Dialogue and Indo US Relations,
Vivekananda International Foundation, October 2018 available at: https://drive.google.com/file/
- Kalyan Prabhat, The Huawei challenge: Implications for Vodafone Idea,
Airtel; advantage Jio, June 28, 2019,https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/the-huawei-challenge-implications-for-vodafone-idea-airtel-advantage-jio/69983765.
Written By: Aditya Shekhar and Abhishek Choudhary
Institution- National Law University, Jodhpur, Course- B.A. LL. B (Hons) - Year
of study -2ndYear
Address: Primary Address- National Law University, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Amir Ali
Halls of Residence Room No. 103 and 306.
Contact No.- +91- 6394056028, 7551897205