Huawei Moves to Convince India on Network Security Issues

Huawei Technologies is taking measures to convince the Indian government that there are no security issues arising from Indian telecommunications operators buying its equipment, it said Wednesday.

The company plans to manufacture its equipment in India, the and to set up an advisory council to help the company's management in India, a spokesman for the company said on Wednesday.

The council, consisting of top Indian experts on telecommunications, will advise the management on regulatory issues, and on working with the Indian government and customers, he added.

The company also plans to increase the number of local staff employed at its Indian sales and development operation, including in senior management, the spokesman said. About 85 percent of the staff are now Indian, with the balance from China, he said.

Orders for Huawei equipment from some mobile service operators have been disallowed by the Indian government since February, the spokesman said.

India's Department of Telecommunications (DOT) requires service providers to get security clearance from the DOT for equipment and software they intend to procure from foreign vendors.

The DOT insists that there is no ban on procurement of equipment from any country.

Under the new rules purchase proposals from service providers are however referred to the Ministry of Home Affairs for security clearance, which has refused permission for the purchase of equipment from Chinese vendors like Huawei, sources said.

India and China went to war in 1962, and strained relations over a border dispute between the two countries increased last year.

Researchers from the Information Warfare Monitor -- a project involving researchers at the University of Toronto's Munk Center for International Studies and The SecDev Group -- and the Shadowserver Foundation said last month that they had discovered a cyber-espionage network based in China that had targeted computers in a number of countries, including government and military systems in India.

Huawei officials from India and China are planning to meet government officials next week to understand the security concerns of the Indian government, and to find ways of working around these issues with the government, the company spokesman said.

A report on Wednesday in The Economic Times newspaper in India said that Huawei may disclose its detailed ownership pattern to the Indian government to allay the government's concern that the company is owned by either the Chinese government or an officer in China's People's Liberation Army (PLA). The Huawei spokesman declined to comment on this report.

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