situation report

India, China: Huawei Dangles Manufacturing Unit if Granted 5G Access

2 MINS READSep 26, 2019 | 17:15 GMT

What Happened: The CEO of Huawei's Indian branch, Jay Chen, said his company was open to building an export-oriented 5G manufacturing facility, but noted New Delhi has yet to confirm the Chinese company's participation in India's 5G network even though it has given the government numerous presentations on its proposed plans, the Times of India reported Sept. 24. 

Why It Matters: India, which plans to roll out its 5G network next year, is an important market for the Chinese tech giant. But due partially to security concerns shared by Washington, New Delhi has been reluctant to approve Huawei's participation in spectrum trials that are due by the end of the year. Regardless, a 5G rollout remains a highly ambitious objective for India, given that much of the country has yet to even adopt 4G technology. 

Background: India views China as its principal strategic rival in Asia, which has driven New Delhi to strengthen its defense partnership with the United States. However, China is also one of India’s largest trading partners, which has compelled New Delhi to try to find some areas of cooperation with Beijing.

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