FIPB may meet today to examine US Congress Panel report on Huawei and ZTE

Telecom Lead India: Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) is likely to meet today to discuss to examine a recent report by the US Congress Panel that had said Huawei and ZTE, Chinese equipment makers posed a security threat.

READ: Huawei India’s whitepaper on global cyber security.

Huawei and ZTE

Economic Times reported that the Department of Economic Affairs secretary Aravind Mayaram has called for the meeting.

DEA secretary has pointed out that the FIPB had deferred the applications of the two Chinese vendors in 2002, 2005 and 2006, but these companies continued to operate in India as their activities falls under the automatic route.

Mayaram has listed the findings of the US report, which had said that Huawei and ZTE may be linked with Chinese government and its military and must be barred from mergers and acquisitions in that country (US).

Mayaram also asked the FIPB to take a call on whether foreign investment policy parameters need to be changed, and if so at what stage. The US Congress Report should be shared with the both the telecom and science and technology department to assess whether the potential risks envisaged are possible and also if India could take pre-emptive steps in this regard.

Huawei and ZTE have denied all allegations in the US report.

The finance ministry has also asked the FIPB to look at the recommendations of the US panel report, such as the two Chinese network companies being kept out government contracts, especially those related to sensitive US programs, and also that private companies be encouraged to consider their long-term security risks associated with doing business with the Huawei and ZTE.

Huawei, in its whitepaper, said lack of trust amongst stakeholders in the field of cyber security makes it difficult to form an effective global solution.

According to Huawei, consistent security definitions and criteria are nearly non-existent in existing policies and regulations.

The risks and challenges in cyber security are often exaggerated and used as an excuse for protectionism by the private and public sectors.

Cyber security challenges can largely be managed by technical means. However, if these challenges are escalated to ideological differences as a result of political debates, it is difficult to formulate viable solutions.

Oversensitivity to cyber security and excessive protection will aggravate accusations and suspicions between stakeholders.

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