Huawei plans to set up manufacturing unit in India

By agencies   |   Monday, 22 August 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Chinese telecom equipment vendor, Huawei Technologies, intends to set up a manufacturing base in India in case it was awarded contracts by Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL).

"If we win the tenders from BSNL and MTNL, we propose to manufacture the equipment in India. We may do it directly, or tie-up with Indian companies," said Wenhe Gong, Director, Huawei Technologies (India).

He also said that the company had not received any communication from the government with regard to security concerns about its $100 million investment plans. In March 2005, Huawei Technologies had applied for a licence to bid for tenders by state-owned telecom firms. The proposal also included plans to invest $60 million to set up a plant in India.

"While we are yet to get an approval for the license, we have met with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board and the Department of Telecommunications several times to discuss our plans. We believe the evaluation process is on, and this is normal for any foreign investment approvals. We are confident of a positive response from the Indian government," Wenhe Gong said.

He said the argument that India's strategic telecom networks would fall into the Chinese hands were far-fetched, as the company had independently supplied and installed telecom equipment and networks to the tune of over Rs 2,000 crore to state-owned and private operators over the last couple of years.

"We are currently engaged in the process of laying the broadband network for BSNL. We have won the contract to set up a two lakh GSM network for MTNL and have supplied optical transmission for BSNL and fixed wireless terminals for both Reliance Infocomm and Tata Teleservices. All these products have been tested and certified by the telecom engineering centre of DoT. We have sold equipment to the tune of over $300 million to BSNL and MTNL," he added.

"We are a 100 percent employee-owned company and have nothing to do with an military or intelligence agencies. We have a proven track record of providing customized communications network solutions and services to carriers to over 300 firms worldwide, including 22 of the top 50 operators.

According to him, Huawei was the largest Chinese investor in India, and employed about 1,000 people, 90 percent of whom were Indians.

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