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India 'blacklists' Chinese telecom firms; Beijing upset

Last updated on: July 9, 2010 17:13 IST

India 'blacklists' Chinese telecom firms; Beijing upset

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K J M Varma in Beijing


Voicing its concern over reports that its telecom companies have been blacklisted by India, China on Friday asked New Delhi to treat its firms fairly and called for an open and transparent system for them to operate in.

"We have noticed the list and are making an investigation. We hope India will provide a fair, open and transparent investment environment for Chinese companies," Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming said on Friday.

He was referring to reports that appeared in a section of the Indian media, which stated that some Chinese companies were being blacklisted by the Indian government.

The list includes 25 Chinese vendors, including Huawei and ZTE, official Xinhua news agency reported. "We will investigate through normal channels between the two governments, and communicate and negotiate with the Indian side after making the facts clear," Chen said.

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Photographs: Reuters
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Apparently referring to talks on the issue between National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon and Chinese leaders, Chen said Indian authorities had given the assurance that their new security regulations would be fair and transparent, and not discriminatory to Chinese companies.

"We will wait and see," he said.

The Chinese minister also stated that China would strengthen communication with India to effect a sound investment environment for companies from the two countries.

After the talks, Menon had told the media on July 6 that India is in the process of finalising an 'open and non-discriminatory system' to import telecom equipment and address the concerns of all sections of the sector.

The state-run Global Times had carried a report on the alleged blacklisting and criticised the move by terming it discriminatory.

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Photographs: Reuters
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"Although India has publicly assured that it is not banning Chinese telecom products, a recent Indian media report revealed that its government has a blacklist that actually bars 25 Chinese telecom manufacturers in the name of security precautions," the daily said in its editorial, adding that the matter was confirmed by the Chinese embassy in India on Wednesday.

"Telecom equipment produced by big Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE have been exported to many countries and regions in the world and worked perfectly well without complaints about security glitches. Then why these worries in India when it comes to Chinese products, while other foreign brands such as Nokia and Siemens were given the green light," it asked.

"This is not the first time the Indian government has raised its big stick against Chinese companies and products. By adopting protectionist measures against Chinese batteries, clothing, toys, electronics, motorcycles and even cars, the Indian government has been raising barriers against high-tech equipment from China in recent years," the newspaper said.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Business Standard
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"Chinese telecom operations in India hire 90 per cent of their staffers locally. It was not only job opportunities they have provided, but also products priced lower than other foreign brands. Therefore, banning Chinese brands will not help either side," it added.

"Chinese people respect India as an admirable Asian neighbour, and have never been suspicious of its ambitions or jealous of its advancement in certain areas, such as the IT industry. In contrast, India has not reciprocated with due respect or trust. Both countries should believe that Asia is big enough to withstand and benefit from the rise of two powers," it said.


Photographs: Reuters
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