Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, commenting on US' stand on Huawei, said that the Chinese firm's technology was far superior than rivals Ericsson and Nokia's. "I have tracked this industry for 24 years. Huawei have become extremely good with their products in the last 10-12 years to a point that I can safely say today that, at least in 3G/4G that we have experienced, they are significantly superior to Ericsson and Nokia," he said. He was responding to a question on if the US' push to not pick 5G spectrum from China was unfair on India, considering the European counterparts' tech was costlier.
"Huawei has actually surprised me on how fast they have been able to take the technology curve to the level where it is leading-edge, power consumption is fraction of the Europeans, footprint is very small and they have very powerful leading features," Mittal added.
Mittal was in conversation with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, commerce minister Piyush Goyal, Rubana Huq, the MD of Bangladeshi conglomerate Mohammadi Group and Vikram Kirloskar, CMD of Kirloskar Systems.
Mittal also said that US needs to understand India. "Many of us have invested in the US. We generally have a very warm welcome in the US. People are enjoying the business activity, your nation is rising dramatically, duties are in good shape, taxes are in good shape. But you are also the world power and you have some duties and obligations towards building strategic alliances with countries like India and Bangladesh. We are nowhere to being a developed nation, we are certainly an emerging market and I think we need a little bit of indulgence and understanding from your side," said Mittal to Ross.
"Look at India - Facebook, Google, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat - these are large US companies. Each of them is dominant in India. They are not even allowed to enter China. So, large amount of economic value to these companies rest on the people of India. I hope you will take note of that. When you fight for small issues like Harley Davidson duties, they are much too immaterial. The oldest and largest democracies deserve a much stronger strategic partnership," he said.
Commenting on US-China dynamics, Mittal also said, "We were surprised how US has for a long period of time allowed a manufacturing industry of that size and scale to develop in China at the cost of decimating the US manufacturing bases. This has been going on for decades to the benefit of China. Because of lack of infrastructure, high cost of production, countries like India could not participate in the process," he said.
He added that with two businessmen (President Trump and Commerce Secretary Ross) on positions of power, their focus is certainly on China. Mittal said that while they were taking it head-on and making some amends, it appears that there's a misdirection of some of their ire towards countries like India. "And I would urge you to keep in mind that this country has opened up absolutely and freely to foreign investments," he added.