Amid bitter tension between India and China and security threat over Huawei's 5G technology, United States' Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio a "clean telecom company" while thrashing Huawei for being "tools of the CCP (Communist Party of China) surveillance state".
"The tide is turning toward trusted 5G vendors and away from Huawei. The world's leading telecom companies-Telefonica, Orange, Jio, Telstra, and many more-are becoming "Clean Telcos." They are rejecting doing business with tools of the CCP surveillance state, like Huawei," Pompeo tweeted.
The tide is turning toward trusted 5G vendors and away from Huawei. The world’s leading telecom companies—Telefonica, Orange, Jio, Telstra, and many more—are becoming “Clean Telcos.” They are rejecting doing business with tools of the CCP surveillance state, like Huawei.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 24, 2020
Pompeo's statement comes in the backdrop of US opposition to Huawei, which aims to lead the 5G race in several countries, including India.
Notably, of the total 11 recent investments in Mukesh Ambani's Jio Platforms, seven are from the US, with the largest stake of 9.99 per cent sold to Mark Zuckerberg-led Facebook Inc. Since April 22, 11 tech investors have pumped in Rs 1.15 lakh crore into Jio Platforms considering its huge potential to catapult e-commerce and tech space in India. JPL's subsidiary Reliance Jio is the fastest-growing telecom network in India with over 38 crore subscribers. RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani had earlier also said that Reliance Jio was the only telco in the world that didn't use Chinese equipment.
In a bitter tussle with China, the US has declared 20 Chinese companies, including Huawei and video surveillance company Hikvision, as Chinese military-controlled corporations posing a security threat to nations.
The US Department of Defense document, which contains the list of these companies, includes China Mobile Communications Group and China Telecommunications Corp as well as aircraft manufacturer Aviation Industry Corp of China, Reuters reported.
The US not only has asked its companies to avoid doing business with Huawei but is encouraging its allies, including the UK and India, to look for transparent companies to upgrade their 5G networks.
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Washington had placed both Huawei and Hikvision on a trade blacklist last year over national security concerns. Meanwhile, the US is now considering imposing economic penalties against these firms, Reuters reported.
Pompeo's statement is also significant in the wake of heightened tension between India and China over the Line of Actual Control. Both the sides are engaging in military-level talks to disengage the troops from the disputed areas but there's a growing tension after 20 Indian soldiers and several Chinese troops were killed in recent clashes.