Chinese telecom giant, Huawei, has reiterated that its technology does not contain software code that will compromise the privacy of its users. The company on Monday even offered to enter into a “no backdoor agreement” with India to reassure lawmakers, wireless carriers and end users that contrary to unsubstantiated allegations leveled by the US, its technology will not enable China to surreptitiously spy on other countries.
In an interview to the Reuters on the sidelines of the ongoing India Mobile Congress in New Delhi, the head of the company’s India operations, Jay Chen, said: “From the very beginning, I have confidence that Indian industry, the India market will welcome Huawei because I have contributed a lot with my unique value … I am ready to sign (a no-backdoor agreement)”.
He also hinted that the company might even share the source code of its software with the Indian government to prove that there’s no malicious code in its technology. “If (the Indian) government wants, we are open to having the source codes in an escrow account”, he said. He also matched Ericsson’s offer of manufacturing 5G equipment in India, provided the government doesn’t prevent it from doing business with telecom companies in the country.
India is expected to hold an auction for 5G spectrum by the end of this year or in early 2020, but telecom companies are reportedly playing spoilsport by trying to postpone the auctions, citing high costs and low profitability. In fact, India is one of the few remaining major economies to have yet to start commercial 5G trials, with recent reports suggesting it might take another 5-6 years for 5G to be fully deployed in the country.
Huawei, the world’s largest telecom equipment company with a 28 percent share of the global market, has already been banned from selling its gear to carriers in the US, Australia and New Zealand, and the US government is now putting pressure on its allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East to follow suit.