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Huawei says govt can inspect its facilities any time

Bibhu Ranjan Mishra  |  Bangalore 

Denying rumour that it might be using its office premises to compromise crucial Indian data by planting spyware, Chinese equipment maker Huawei today maintained it was ready to cooperate with the government to have its facility inspected.

"Huawei is open to government inspection at its Indian facilities and will cooperate," senior officials of the company told a group of visiting journalists to its R&D facilities here. The company had arranged this trip in the backdrop of reports that a portion of these facilities were not accessible to its Indian staff. Saying its Indian employees are allowed to enter any part of the set up, the company said there was no such portion exclusively accessible to Chinese executives.

"We established the R&D set-ups in India at a time when we did not have any marketing presence. About 99 per cent of our R&D engineers in Bangalore are Indians. We have about 30 Chinese employees here on a temporary basis to help in transfer and architecture designing and customer interface," said Virendra Gupta, Vice President, Engineering and CRD Business Line Head of Huawei Technologies India. He said Chinese and Indian officials had equal access to all Huawei facilities and labs located in India.

With concerns that Huawei might have links with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China and that it's founder-head was a former PLA officer, Huawei India officials had recently met the Union home secretary and officials from the Prime Minister’s Office. The outcome is not known. On being asked, Huawei officials said, "We have completed a few meetings and there are some more meetings planned in the following days. We will be in a position to give some update after these meetings."

Huawei set up its R&D operations in India in 1999 by establishing its set-up in Bangalore. Globally, the company owns 17 R&D centres, with a strength of 40,000 engineers. In 2002, the company started its sales operation in India. The revenues from India have grown substantially. The company said its order book in India in 2009 was in excess of $2 billion (Rs 9,000 crore). BSNL/MTNL, Reliance, Tata Indicom and Bharti Airtel are some of its major customers.

First Published: Thu, May 13 2010. 01:12 IST