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India Mulls Ban On Chinese Phones Priced Below Rs 12,000 As Trade With China Thrives Despite Boycott Calls

The reports of restricting the selling of these phones comes months after a call for boycott of Chinese products in India that had arisen in the wake of the Galwan valley clash where India lost almost 20 soldiers.

File Photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President, Xi Jinping. (ANI Photo)

New Delhi: The Centre is reportedly mulling a ban over Chinese mobile phones priced below Rs 12,000 with an aim to revive the mobile manufacturing industry in India.

The Chinese smartphones had made a modest entry in India and have gradually overtaken the market due to their affordability and efficiency when compared to the native brands.

Smartphone manufacturers like Micromax and Lava disappeared from the Indian market when brands like Xiaomi brought low budget phones starting with their Prime series which costed even lesser than Rs 10,000.

Even brands like Nokia, which had many flagship phones in place, were completely taken aback with Xiaomi’s incoming. Besides this, other brands which included Oppo and Vivo too saw a wide range of the phones being launched.

Even to counter bigger giants like Apple, the parent company of Oppo and Vivo, BBK Electronics, introduced subsidiaries like OnePlus which even hurt market share of some flagship phones.

Meanwhile, in a fresh development, this ban reportedly has been triggered by the fact that one-third of the mobile phones sold in India are priced under Rs 12,000. About 80 per cent of these phones are reportedly coming from China.

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There was a loss of 3.6 per cent in Xiaomi’s shares on Monday. The cumulative decline so far has been a whopping 35 per cent. While the announcement is yet to take place, reports have suggested informal means may be executed to convey the message to Chinese companies.

As reported earlier by India Ahead, there has also been growing scrutiny by the agencies like the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) into the working of Chinese companies like Huawei, ZTE, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and One Plus.

ZTE and Huawei are already out from the Indian market and the current move seems to do the same with budget segment of other giants.

The reports of restricting the selling of these phones comes months after a call for boycott of Chinese products in India that had arisen in the wake of the Galwan valley clash where India lost almost 20 soldiers. The clashes were the worst in the last 45 years and the militaries of both countries had engaged almost a dozen times in military-level talks to calm the escalating tensions.

The initial assertion by the Indian Army was that Chinese troops had intruded into the Indian land. Following this, on June 6, 2020, the armies of both countries held a meeting where they mutually decided to disengage with each other and create a buffer zone where neither of the two armies can enter.

Also, amid the calls of ban and boycott, India Ahead had reported that the China’s net trade with India had peeked 67.08 billion US dollars in the first half of 2022, despite all the issues surrounding the two countries. The growth trajectory for the trade this year looks similar to the trade done between the two countries in 2021.

In the 67.08 billion USD figure, the majority of the products include the exports coming in from China. These account for almost 57.51 billion US dollars. Meanwhile, the exports to China coming from India amount to 9.57 billion US dollars.

Reportedly, according to the data released by China’s General Administration of Customs, there has been an increase of 34.5 per cent in the exports to India when compared to the last year.

Meanwhile, Indian exports to China witnessed a decline of 35.3 per cent in the first half of this year when compared to the corresponding part of the last year.

Meanwhile, the government in 2020, had mandated the sellers to define the country of origin of their products when listing them on the government-e-marketplace.

While there was no mention of China, experts had argued that the government was giving a choice for the consumers to choose products that are not Chinese.

The government also banned almost 54 Chinese apps taking the total toll of banned apps to 324. While many apps had created replicas and launched them again quietly in India however those of Chinese origin were also banned again.

For example, the famous PUB-G game was forced to be developed again with companies that were based out of China. TikTok which had surpassed even the number of weekly users on Instagram was also banned for its Chinese origin in India.