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Huawei offers to sign 'no backdoor agreement'

‘Back door’ is a feature that allows unauthorised access to customers’ data

Jun 25, 2019 by The Passage Team
Huawei offers to sign 'no backdoor agreement'

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd's India head said the Chinese telecommunication giant is willing to sign a ‘no-backdoor agreement’ in the backdrop of widespread espionage allegations against the company.

“I would like to propose to the industry, no matter which country you are from, let's sign the ‘no backdoor agreements’ with our customers and the Indian government to give the commitment, confidence and trust. We encourage other vendors and OEMs (original equipment makers) to sign these pacts,” Huawei India Chief Executive Jay Chen told ET. “I am ready to sign one today.”

In line with India’s data localisation plan, Chen said Huawei will proactively shift data of Indian consumers to within the country.

“We give this commitment that we will store everything locally in India gradually. Some of the servers are in Singapore and some are in India. We will bring servers to India even if India doesn't ask for it,” he said.

The US has been pressurising countries including India to veto Huawei from developing the 5G network capabilities in the respective countries over concerns of Chinese surveillance through these networks. The US had banned Huawei products and stopped US companies from supplying software and other services to the Chinese company.

Australia and New Zealand have also banned Huawei.

India’s telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said the government will take a view on whether the Chinese company will be allowed to participate in 5G trials.

“This is the right time for the Indian government to make a decision and give clarity...India should take a collaborative and open approach to achieve the revenue target (of doubling to USD 350-400 billion by 2025) for the ICT (information & communications technology) sector. There should be a level playing field," Chen said.

“We hope that the Indian government would be able to take a positive call and increase investment from potential investors who are coming from China. There are cross-industry and ICT ecosystem companies waiting to invest in India," he said.

He said barring Huawei will push up the cost of 5G deployment.

"We have to be there in the race, so there are checks and balances on prices. It's going to be a supply and demand issue," he told ET.

The Passage Team

The Passage is committed to creating in-depth content over technology industry across Asia with a focus on emerging startups in the technology, healthcare, education, food, tech, travel & mobility segments.

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