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India Restricts Chinese Telecom Presence to Manufacturing, Cites Strategic Concerns

Enclosed in a report on international cooperation written by India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in early August, China is ranked lowest on a “weighted assessment based on trade and strategic parameters,” as reported by The Indian Express yesterday.

The report suggests that China should be restricted to manufacturing telecom equipment only, while infrastructure and broadband network cooperation should be extended to “non-controversial countries” including the US, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Sweden and Finland. What they meant by “non-controversial” was not disclosed.

While this is not in the least unexpected, it reinforces the notion that Chinese companies and China in general will not be able to tackle international markets without first tackling their images.

Last week we wrote about Huawei, who is currently being investigated by a committee of US lawmakers to determine to what degree it is connected to China’s authoritarian government. As a private company, Huawei has been denied time and time again from infrastructure projects and M&A transactions for what is perceived as an overwhelming security risk related to its founder and leader Ren Zhongfei, a former military officer from the People’s Liberation Army. It is beginning to get some better press, but there is no guarantee that this will help them gain official approval.

There is no doubt that there is innovation to be found in China, but in order to be accepted it needs to come in a non-threatening form. Will China continue to simply manufacture the world’s products, or will it soon be able to participate in the rest of the process? This will depend on how willing companies are to become more financially and politically transparent.

Source: The Indian Express

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