Huawei has won security clearance to manufacture telecoms equipment in India, paving the way for it to become the first major Chinese brand to supply locally made products for one of the world’s biggest markets for mobile phones.
The thumbs up comes from the Ministry of Home Affairs nine months after Huawei first applied for a manufacturing license.
It seems that the India did not ignore the Western concerns about the company, it just thought about it longer.
A spokesman for Huawei in India said separately the firm had not received official communication from the government, bit it appears that the news was leaked to the press first .
Huawei’s clearance to manufacture telecoms gear comes as a number of China’s largest phone makers, including Huawei itself, have indicated they are keen to supply locally made products to India’s fast-growing mobile market, which has more than 975 million mobile phone subscriptions.
Close to 150 million subscribers use Internet-friendly smartphones, a number that’s forecast to grow about 26 percent annually until 2019, according to a recent HSBC report.
Huawei would become the first big-name Chinese phone maker to manufacture hardware in India’s growing market to helping compensate for slowing growth at home.
Huawei has R&D operations in India, and manufactures for export in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
The fact it setting up local research and production centres was seen as the key to helping Chinese firms offer top-end features at even lower cost to India’s price-sensitive consumers.
The green light for Huawei comes two months after Prime Minister Modi visited China in an effort to promote stronger business ties. China’s ambassador to India said that tough security reviews and visa restrictions were slowing investment, despite Modi’s promise to roll out the red carpet to foreign business.
Foxconn, the Taiwanese tech group that assembles the Apple iPhone in China, is also looking to open 10-12 plants in India by 2020 and is in talks to manufacture the iPhone in the country.