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India seeks to ban all Chinese phones under $150

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  • India might restrict Chinese smartphone manufacturers from selling phones under $150. 
  • This move is seen as an evident approach to help domestic smartphone players like Micromax, Lava, and Karbonn, among others, and boost their sales in the segment.
  • Around 80 percent of sales in the under $150 (Rs. 12,000) smartphone segment come from Chinese brands.
Reportedly, the Indian government is planning to enforce a ban on Chinese smartphone players from selling lower segment smartphones (less than Rs. 12,000) to boost the sale of homegrown brands like Micromax, Lava, Karbonn, and others. The recent move is aimed at throwing Chinese low-end smartphones out of the world’s second-biggest mobile market.  The ensuing ban can give a severe blow to companies like Xiaomi and Realme, which have captured about 50 percent of the market share in India in the sub-USD 150 (Rs 12,000 and below) segment, according to Counterpoint Research. "Overall, sub-$150 smartphones account for 31% of the total smartphone volumes in India in the June quarter this year, compared to 49% in the same quarter in 2018," Research Director Tarun Pathak told IANS.Chinese phone "Chinese brands exert influence with 75-80% of these volumes as Jio PhoneNext has ramped up in the last few quarters. This segment is currently led by realme and Xiaomi with 50% share," Pathak added. Shenzhen-based Transsion Holdings, which has brands like Tecno, Infinix, and Itel in its kitty, is also a formidable player in the low-end and affordable segment in the country. Transsion Group brands (itel, Infinix and Tecno) captured a 12% share in India`s handset market in Q2. Xiaomi’s shares extended losses in the final minutes of trading in Hong Kong on Monday. It slid 3.6%, extending its decline this year to more than 35%. It’s unclear whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government will announce any policies or use informal channels to convey its preference to Chinese companies, according to a report published by Bloomberg. Recently, India took a super tough stand against Chinese manufacturers, following a series of raids on Chinese smartphone companies like OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi. The Indian government is looking into cases regarding alleged tax evasion by three Chinese smartphone companies -- OPPO, Vivo India, and Xiaomi. OPPO India, Xiaomi India, and Vivo India were served notices by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) for duty evasion, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed the upper house last week. A show-cause notice demanding Rs 4,403.88 crore has been served to OPPO Mobiles India Ltd based on an investigation conducted by the DRI, while five cases of Customs duty evasion have been registered against Xiaomi Technology India, Sitharaman said in a written reply.

By Awanish Kumar

I keep abreast of the latest technological developments to bring you unfiltered information about gadgets.


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