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With new Chinese link, Nepal ends India's internet monopoly

Reuters  |  KATHMANDU 

By Gopal Sharma

(Reuters) - has joined hands with to offer services to its citizens, officials said on Friday, ending India's decades-long monopoly of the nation's

For years, depended on Indian telecom companies, such as and Tata Communications Ltd, for access to the worldwide web, which Nepali officials said made connections vulnerable to network failures.

Telecom and Telecom Global launched their services after they wrapped up the laying of cables between Kerung in and Rasuwagadi in Nepal, about 50 km (30 miles) north of Kathmandu, the companies said.

"This will give us an alternative to for cyber connectivity and ensure uninterrupted connections," Pratibha Vaidya, a Telecom spokeswoman, told

"Consumers can now look "

More than 60 percent of Nepal's 28 million people had access to the last year, up from just 19 percent in 2012.

Both Asian giants and have been jostling to increase their influence in Nepal, a natural buffer separating them, by ramping up their investments in roads and hydropower projects in the impoverished country.

In 2016, agreed to allow to use its ports to trade goods with third countries, ending the latter's sole dependence on for overland trade.

last year joined the Belt and Road Initiative, which is China's effort to develop a modern "Silk Road" connecting with Europe, and by road, railway, sea and air.

As part of the initiative, Nepali officials say they are in talks with over the extension of the Chinese into from

(Editing by and Clarence Fernandez)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 12 2018. 18:28 IST