Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State (MOS), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has formally denied the reports of a ban on entry-level Chinese smartphones for the first time and has said that the government will work towards ensuring space for Indian Brands.
Chandrasekhar said that there was no such proposal to ban Chinese smartphones in the sub-Rs 12,000 price segment. He added, “In our scheme of things, there is space for Indian brands, Indian suppliers. It will not work to the exclusion of foreign brands. Wherever we feel that Indian brands are being crowded out due to unfair practices, we will intervene. The government’s vision is of a robust, innovative electronics sector, with space for Indian brands.”
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Earlier in the month, rumours had circulated, suggesting that India is seeking to restrict Chinese smartphone makers from selling devices cheaper than Rs 12,000 to jumpstart its flagging domestic industry were doing rounds but the government has time and again denied that any such proposal is in the talks.
Chinese manufactured smartphones hold a very large share in the Indian market, especially in the budget to mid-range category. Taking them out at the onset of the 5G rollout could mean slowing down the process of making 5G available to the whole country.
Currently, Xiaomi holds the largest share in the Indian smartphone market at a little over 20 percent in the second quarter of the year, as per an IDC report. Realme and Vivo held the second (17.5 percent) and third (16.9 percent) spots respectively.