Chinese telecom equipment makers to meet officials

May 5th, 2010 - 8:47 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 5 (IANS) Top honchos of Chinese telecom companies will meet senior government officials here in the next two days to resolve all issues, including security concerns, regarding export of equipment to India.
The meetings take place amid reports that Chinese companies are being disallowed from bidding for some contracts to supply telecom equipment to Indian companies. And some of their shipments are stuck in the country for want of various clearances.

“We are examining the situation and meeting government officials. We hope that we will certainly reach a solution soon,” a top official of ZTE, one of China’s largest telecom equipment maker, told IANS.

Top officials of another Chinese firm, Huwaei, are also flying in to meet Indian officials Friday.

Officials from the department of telecommunications (DoT) as well as commerce ministry said there was no “blanket ban” on the import of Chinese telecom equipment into India.

The government was looking at all equipment and the purchases were being decided on “case to case basis” due to security reasons, they said.

The Indian government is apparently worried that these equipment can provide Chinese intelligence agencies access to telecom networks in India.

Telecom operators are saying that they are not being allowed to procure equipment from Chinese vendors and this is affecting their business.

Some of the mobile service operators are claiming that they have received a letter from the DoT that it would take time to clear the purchase of Chinese equipment for their operations as it had to be cleared by the ministry of home affairs.

The telecom companies are asked to submit details of the equipment they are procuring and these are then forwarded to the home ministry for clearance.

The Chinese equipment are cheaper than what the US and European companies offer. Almost all telecom companies, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, state-run Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd, and Reliance Communications, import equipment from Chinese suppliers.

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