Indian government tells telecoms to avoid buying Chinese hardware

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The Indian government has asked the country’s telecommunications companies to “refrain from buying Chinese telecommunications equipment”, because they may be used by Beijing to spy on India. The request was reportedly delivered to Indian telecommunications industry representatives by officials from India’s Department of Telecommunications, in a closed-door meeting earlier this week. Indian media report that the Department’s request has no legal backing, but is simply a call for Indian telecommunications providers to “self-regulate”. But the government is said to be working on official guidelines to restrict the domestic use of telecommunications hardware and software originating from countries considered “unfriendly” to India, including Pakistan, China and Egypt. Some industry observers have expressed fears that the pending restrictions will severely hinder the growth of India’s rapidly rising telecommunications sector.

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