August 12, after Bloomberg reported that India intends to restrict mainland Chinese smartphone makers from selling devices priced below 12,000 Indian rupees (about 1026 yuan) in order to promote the development of India’s domestic cell phone industry. In response to the news, senior Indian government officials said the Indian government has no plans to restrict Chinese cell phone brands from selling low-end smartphones in the Indian market.
According to the Indian newspaper The Mint 11, a person with knowledge of the Indian government’s internal affairs said in this regard, “The Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is not considering such proposals.”
In addition, some Indian industry insiders have also expressed their views on the matter, with a research executive from a consulting firm saying that the implementation of a ban would disrupt the entire Indian cell phone market and lead to instability in the entire ecosystem of the Indian cell phone market, so the implementation of such a ban is highly unlikely. He also added that Indian brands need strong products, sales and after-sales service, which they currently lack.
An executive from the Indian branch of the U.S. International Data Group also said that India is an “open market”, the ban is difficult to implement, and if it does, it will be difficult for the remaining market players to fill the market gap.
The Mint also said that, according to industry sources, the Indian government has realized that local cell phone brands are losing market share in India, and the Indian government is looking for policies and support to help local cell phone companies (Lava, Micromax, etc.) get back their market share, but these local companies can’t compete with Chinese brands in terms of manufacturing scale or marketing strength.
According to Counterpoint, smartphones under $150 accounted for one-third of India’s sales in the second quarter ending June 2022, with Chinese companies accounting for 80 percent of shipments, with Xiaomi, realme, OPPO and vivo occupying four of the top five shares.
In addition, India has previously carried out several enforcement actions against Chinese cell phone companies, including Xiaomi, vivo, OPPO, etc. On July 29, India also took down again the India-only version of the Jedi survival handheld game Battlegrounds Mobile India.