The Indian Government is reportedly looking to tighten its grip on Chinese phone companies again. It has apparently sent notices to Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus, and Xiaomi, seeking disclosure on the components used in their phones. Well, this is to ascertain these foreign brands aren’t snooping on their users. Differently put, it is an extension of the govt’s data security concerns with these foreign players in the market.
The new report comes from ET, which reveals the GOI is planning to form regulatory measures to take apart and test the phones for finding backdoors, if at all any. As such, currently, MeitY, National Technical Research Organisation, Department for Promotion of Industry, and Internal Trade are working with PMO in weighing their options.
It also adds that going forth, the government could create a list of trusted entities for telecom equipment. But to be clear, the foreign companies under scrutiny would be not only those involved in the hardware business but software too. This means even built-in apps on these Chinese smartphones could come under the microscope.
Also, even if all foreign companies could fall on this list, the emphasis would be on “companies from countries that share borders with India,” said a person familiar with the matter.
Meanwhile, another person, also in the loop, stresses that “the government doesn’t want to scare companies but needs to ensure that there are no security-related issues. For the security teardown, the Chinese should not have a problem if they think their products are clean.”