The Indian government is launching a investigation over Huawei and ZTE equipment, following increased scrutiny on China's alleged involvement in cyberspionage.
Sina Tech reported on Thursday, citing an official from India's Department of Telecommunications (DoT), who said the ministry knew about the concerns of Indian intelligence agencies and were expediting the developing of systems for testing the telecom equipment of foreign manufacturers in networks, which could also include the likes of Cisco and Alcatel.
A lab will be set up in Bangalore, where the gear will be tested.
According to the report, the India's cabinet secretariat had written a letter to DoT earlier expressing concerns over the induction of large scale foreign telecom equipments, especially from China-based Huawei and ZTE, in private and government networks without testing. The secretariat also asked DoT to make provisions for identifying spyware, malware and bugging software in the equipment.
The move follows a report released by the U.S. Department of Defense on Monday which claimed intrusions originating from China have been designed to steal confidential information around its "diplomatic, economic, and defense industrial base sectors that support national defense programs".
This is not the first time the Chinese telecoms equipment manufacturers come under fire in India. In January this year, India had barred foreign telecom equipment vendors, including Huawei and ZTE, from supplying gear for its national optic fiber network project. A month later, it was reported the DoT was deliberating on conferring the "domestic manufacturer" status to the Chinese companies due to security concerns raised by the local industry and security agencies.