Huawei, ZTE ready to share source codes with India [Security] [Times of India]
(Times of India Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) NEW DELHI: Embattled Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE are willing to offer the Indian government unrestricted access to the software source codes of all their products as they attempt to ease concerns about a security threat.
Their offer comes as the Indian government is examining a recent report by the US Congress Panel that said the two technology majors from China have ties with that country's government and military and must be barred from mergers and acquisitions in the US.
ET reported last week that Department of Economic Affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram had called a meeting of officials of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to discuss the operations of the two Chinese vendors in India in the wake of the US panel's report. Mayaram had also asked the FIPB to decide if India should change its foreign investment policy parameters, if the potential risks envisaged in the US report were possible and whether the country should take preemptive steps in this regard.
Both Huawei and ZTE have denied all allegations leveled by the US.
Huawei's global chief security officer John Suffolk, in a recent interaction with ET, said the company was willing to go the distance to dispel the fears of the Indian government. "We don't make assumptions on what is right or wrong for each country. So we ask governments what objectives do you want us to achieve, and how best can we do that. The source code of Huawei is the crown jewels of Huawei. In any country, where we give access to the source code, we work hard with the security people to protect Huawei's crown jewels. Yes, we have already done this (shared source codes) with other governments," Suffolk said.
"We encourage governments and operators to come and see us in China and we show them everything - source codes, testing, manufacturing, how we train people, how we sell - nothing is hidden from them. Every country has its own culture, standards, their own things that they worry about, and the more we get people taking to us, telling us their concerns, the better our processes become. But we believe that everyone should go through the same process and be driven up to the same standards," Suffolk added.
"We use products of all leading companies such as Microsoft and Cisco, and I have to worry about that too. Trust has to be earned - we will work with the Indian government. We realise there is a risk to Huawei in sharing source codes, but our belief is that the more intimate we are with the government, the more they will trust us," Suffolk said.
Taking a similar stance, Cui Liangjun, chief executive of ZTE India said : "If we do something wrong, we have no future. We want to be a long term player both in India and globally. India is setting up a lab to test all mobile equipment and we are willing to test all our products there. We are also open to sharing our source code. In fact, we already share the source code with our vendors here such as Bharti Airtel and BSNL"
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