RAW sends note to Department of Telecommunications on loans given by Chinese banks to RCom

The operations of Chinese telecom equipment providers Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corporation in India have again come under the scanner of law enforcement agencies and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

The matter now relates to Reliance Communications (RCom) getting huge loans from Chinese financial institutions with the help of the two firms.

Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), in a note to DoT, pointed to Huawei Technologies' “links” with the People's Liberation Army and the Ministry of State Security of China.

“It may be recalled that in 2010, BSNL, on security grounds, cancelled a contract awarded to Huawei and ZTE for GSM projects in the northern and eastern zones in India even though their bid was adjudged the lowest,” the note said.

Referring to the loans being provided by the Export Import Bank of China, the China Development Bank and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the note states, “Influential Chinese telecom equipment makers Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corporation are understood to have helped RCom to secure loans from the State-owned Chinese banks as RCom is to buy $600 million worth of telecom gear from them.”

The note talks about how the two Chinese firms have launched an “aggressive Indianisation' drive to change their public perception in India.” “Huawei Technologies has recently decided to appoint an Indian as the Chairman of its wholly-owned subsidiary in India and has taken some Indians on the Board of Directors. ZTE also plans to revamp its five-member board in India by taking more Indians,” it said.

Notably, Huawei and ZTE have been providing equipment to various firms like Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices besides offering them easy payment options for such purchases.

When contacted, RCom refused to comment on the issue.

“Baseless”

However, Huawei India refuted such “allegations” as “untrue, baseless and malicious in intent.”

“Despite such continuous and repeated disinformation campaign over the past 12 years of its presence in India , the company has been serving India customers and firmly committed to being India's partner and contributor to the growth and development of the telecom/ICT Industry in India,” an official statement said.

“With more than 6,000 employees in India and dedicated R&D centre, a local manufacturing centre, operational centre, service centre and training centre across the country, Huawei has also been proactively collaborating and cooperating with the Indian government thus fully complying with all legal and regulatory requirements locally as it does internationally…Huawei is a completely transparent private global business entity and willing to communicate with any government agencies on any issues concerned,” the Huawei India spokesperson said.

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