With the Quad Tech plan, India closes the door further to Chinese companies

Technology “should be shaped by our common democratic values ​​and respect for universal human rights”

The Quad summit of leaders of India, Australia, Japan and the United States in Washington on Friday saw the four countries lay out common principles on technology for the first time, underscoring their ambition to work more closely together to develop common standards in particularly critical technologies of the future. .

Although China did not find an explicit mention in any of Quad’s statements, its presence was still prominent in many results, including in the first Quad document “Principles on Design, Development, Governance and Use. technologies ”which indicated that the four countries would ensure that technology“ is shaped by our common democratic values ​​and respect for universal human rights ”.

Multi-stakeholder approach

The common principles stated that technology should be “developed through a multi-stakeholder approach that is adaptive, dynamic and aligned with universal values, including respect for freedom of expression and privacy” and “should not be misused or abused for malicious activities such as authoritarian surveillance. and oppression, for terrorist purposes, or to disseminate disinformation ”.

The tech paper followed Quad’s creation of a new Critical and Emerging Technologies working group in March, focused on technical standards, 5G diversification and deployment, and technology supply chains.

At Friday’s summit, it was agreed that the four countries would also establish contact groups on advanced communications and artificial intelligence “with a focus on standards development activities as well as basic pre- standardization “.

Another key initiative planned is to launch a semiconductor supply chain initiative “to map capacity, identify vulnerabilities and strengthen supply chain security for semiconductors and their vital components.”

Diversified, resilient and secure telecommunications ecosystem

On 5G deployment and diversification, the four countries said they will promote “a diverse, resilient and secure telecommunications ecosystem” and initiate a sectoral dialogue aimed at jointly facilitating “enabling environments for diversification. of 5G, including with efforts related to testing and test facilities ”.

The Quad initiatives further underscore India’s stark distance from Chinese telecoms companies, which have played a major role in the roll-out of 3G and 4G and have come to regard India as one of their largest foreign markets.

In May, India said it would not include Chinese telecommunications companies in 5G trials with the Ministry of Telecommunications (DoT) allowing multiple telecommunications service providers (TSPs) to conduct 5G trials, but in leaving aside Huawei and ZTE, who had hoped to participate.

China then expressed “its concern and regret that Chinese telecommunications companies have not been allowed to conduct 5G trials with Indian telecommunications service providers in India.”

Last year India put in place tighter restrictions to control investments from China, especially the acquisition of stakes in the tech sector which saw a sharp increase from 2014, led by Alibaba and Tencent. Some of the restrictions were announced in April 2020, ahead of the Real Line of Control (LAC) crisis that erupted in May. In the wake of the border crisis, which remains unresolved, Delhi has made it clear that trade and investment cannot continue normally.

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