India Resumes Sourcing Telecom Products From China

The Indian government has amended its telecom security rules, stating that India telecom operators can resume their imports of Chinese-made telecommunications equipment, but stricter rules will be applied.

According to a statement published by the Department of Telecommunications of India, due to security reasons, all telecom equipment suppliers must share their source code and design details. If any security problem occurs after the installation of the equipment, the supplier should pay a penalty of the same value of the contract; and the operator who buys the equipment will also be fined INR500 million.

An officer from the department said that the source code and the design details will be kept in an escrow account and will only be used when urgent security incidents occur. The new rules will not only be applicable to Chinese companies, but all telecom equipment suppliers who do business in India.

A representative from the Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei told local media that according to their understanding, the new rules require no examination of non-core equipment. However, for the procurement of core equipment, the two parties should sign a contract first and the supplier should provide a series of security certifications in the next one or two years. But the providing of source code and design details involves intellectual property rights and is hard to accept for the industry in China.

The reports in Indian local media revealed that Western telecom equipment makers, including Ericsson, have been opposing the sharing of source code, which is believed to be patented Information.

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