Huawei ready to ink ‘no-back-door’ agreement with Indian govt to abate spying fears

India’s PM Narendra Modi takes a “selfie” with a mobile phone © Reuters / Amit Dave / Free

Chinese telecom giant Huawei, which has been accused by the US over alleged breaches of sensitive user information, has said it is ready to sign a ‘no-back-door’ pact with the government of India.

A ‘back door’ in technology products refers to a feature that allows unauthorized access to customers’ data.

Huawei’s business engagement in India is under scrutiny by the government after Washington restricted the Chinese company’s hardware and software supplies.

“We are proposing to the Indian government that we are ready to sign a ‘no-back-door’ agreement. We encourage other OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) also to sign this kind of agreement with the government and telecom operators,” Huawei’s CEO for India operations, Jay Chen, was quoted as saying by the Economic Times.

Since last year, the US has been pressing its allies to ban Huawei from 5G rollouts on suspicion that the Chinese government used the company as a vehicle for spying. Huawei and Beijing have strongly denied the accusations.

Some countries like Australia and Japan have barred Huawei, while others, including India, are yet to take a decision on whether to permit its 5G rollouts.

Huawei has teamed up with Vodafone Idea in India to conduct trials for the 5G services. Earlier this month, India’s telecom minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said the government would take “a firm view” on Huawei’s participation.

“We want a level playing field. I firmly believe that the Indian government will allocate spectrum for trials to everyone at one go and not differentiate based on vendors. India can’t afford to work with select vendors for another 10 years when it is aspiring to become the third largest economy of the world,” Chen said.

According to Indian daily Mint, Huawei’s CEO said ironically: “We should appreciate Donald Trump and the US government for making Huawei too popular.”

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