Chinese smartphone companies in India have been on the ride with government agencies, such as the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Income Tax (IT) Department, etc. Companies like Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo were accused of tax evasion and money laundering, among other allegations. A recent report added fuel to the fire, claiming that the government is seeking to stop Chinese smartphone sales under Rs 12,000 in India.
A couple of days after the report, CNBC-TV18, citing government sources, claimed that the Centre has no plans to introduce any such proposal.
No Ban on Chinese Smartphones Under Rs 12,000
A recent Bloomberg report claimed that the Indian government was seeking to ban Chinese smartphone sales under Rs 12,000 in India. The move was being considered to help local manufacturers capture a major chunk of the market share, especially in the budget segment. CNBC-TV18, citing government sources, claimed that the government does not have any such plans to place a ban on the sales of budget Chinese smartphones under Rs 12,000.
Chinese smartphone players dominate the Indian market, with a combined share of over 66 per cent market share, according to an IDC study. The likes of Xiaomi sub-brand Redmi, Realme, OPPO, Vivo, Tecno and Infinix, combined, have an even larger share of about 80 per cent in the budget smartphone segment under Rs 12,000 in India. Indian companies, such as Lava and Micromax, have a minuscule share of about 4 per cent.
China’s foreign ministry is seeking mutual co-operation in trade and manufacturing as it benefits both countries. It also urged the Indian government to provide a non-discriminatory investment and business environment for Chinese smartphone companies.
Realme India’s top chief Madhav Sheth, during an interaction with the network, said that the company is in talks with the authorities and there is no reason to worry. Sheth highlighted that the company, along with other Chinese players, have not only invested in the Make in India initiative but also created thousands of jobs for the locals. The government also asked smartphone companies to focus on manufacturing products and components in India and exporting them to other markets, Sheth further added.
The Realme Vice President reiterated that most of the company’s smartphones and AIOT products are made in India. The company is working on locally manufacturing laptops, tablets and other products very soon.
Hari Om Rai, Chairman and MD of Lava Mobiles, said that local companies seek the government to provide a fair playing field. The government, at the time of writing this, has not officially confirmed or denied any of the above reports or made any announcements.
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