Last month, it was reported that the Indian government was planning to ban the sale of Chinese smartphones under ₹12,000 in India. According to speculations, the government aimed to boost Indian companies such as Micromax, Lava, and Karbonn and deter Chinese smartphone manufacturers. Now, IT minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar has rubbished these rumours, stating that there will be no such ban on Chinese phones.
Xiaomi and Realme are two major Chinese manufacturers that offer phones in the sub-₹12,000 category, accounting for 50 percent of sales. Besides, other Chinese brands such as Infinix, Tecno, and Itel have nearly 12 percent of the market share in the Indian smartphone business. Banning Chinese smartphones in this category would not only adversely affect the manufacturers, it would also have a huge impact on Indian consumers looking for a budget phone.
Chandrashekhar has cleared the air regarding rumours of the ban, stating that India will not pose such restrictions on foreign brands. He said, “We don’t have any proposal and I am not sure where it came from.” This clarification comes after Bloomberg reported that India is planning to ban the sale of Chinese smartphones priced under ₹12,000.
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Chandrashekhar added, “Only issue that we have raised and done very transparently with some of the Chinese brands is that we have said that our expectation is that they will do more exports. Their supply chain, especially the components supply chain, needs to be more transparent and much more open.”
Despite the Indian government’s reassurance, it appears that it will continue to be on guard against Chinese companies. To recall, it had recently raided Xiaomi and Oppo’s offices. Earlier this year, India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) had seized ₹5551.27 crore from Xiaomi India’s bank accounts, accusing the company of illegal outward remittances. It appears that Chinese companies will continue to be subjected to scrutiny as long as it does business in India.