NEW DELHI: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has listed Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm as a “clean telco” for refusing to do business with Chinese firms such as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd. The former CIA chief said the tide is turning towards “trusted” 5G vendors and away from Huawei who he labeled “tools of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) surveillance state.
It may be mentioned here that India is yet to deploy 5G technology. On the table is an auction of the spectrum this year for running 5G services but there has been no final decision yet on that. Huawei and ZTE — another Chinese company — Ericsson, Nokia Networks and Samsung are among a handful of companies making the 5G equipment, an expensive state-of-the-art technology.
Relations between the world’s two largest economies have deteriorated significantly in the last two years, with each side imposing higher and higher tariffs on the other.
“The tide is turning toward trusted 5G vendors and away from Huawei. The world’s leading telecom companies—Telefonica, Orange, Jio, Telstra, and many more—are becoming “Clean Telcos.” They are rejecting doing business with tools of the CCP surveillance state, like Huawei,” Pompeo said in a Twitter post.
Intelligence and government officials in the US and many European countries have raised security concerns over Chinese companies such as Huawei. China has taken the lead in 5G technology which many countries fear would give the Communist state access to all the data of their citizens if their companies were to deploy equipment made by Chinese companies.
In an earlier tweet today, he said CCP’s behaviour could put American people’s security at risk.
“The Chinese Communist Party is behaving in ways that fundamentally put the American people’s security at risk. The @realDonaldTrump Administration is the first in decades to take this threat seriously,” Pompeo said in the tweet.
Back home, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) today approved Facebook Inc’s ₹43,574-crore purchase of 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms Ltd, Reliance Industries Ltd’s digital services subsidiary. Reliance Jio Infocomm, which has 388 million subscribers, is a fully-owned subsidiary of Jio Platforms.
The Facebook-Jio deal, which was announced on 22 April, would give the US-based social media giant bigger foothold in one of the world’s fastest growing internet markets.