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Indian government may be planning to oust Chinese smartphone companies from the sub-Rs 12,000 market. According to a report in Bloomberg, citing sources, the country “seeks to restrict Chinese smartphone makers from selling devices cheaper than Rs 12,000 ($150) to kick-start its faltering domestic industry”.
The Indian government’s move may come as a body blow to Chinese companies that lead India’s budget smartphone market. The biggest causality of this will be China-based smartphone players including Xiaomi and Realme. The duo are key players in the low-end smartphone market. The move, said the report citing people close to the matter, may push Chinese smartphone makers “out of the lower segment of the world’s second-biggest mobile market”.
The move will also hurt Shenzhen-based Transsion Holdings, which has brands like Tecno, Infinix and Itel. It is also a formidable player in the low-end and affordable segment in the country. Transsion Group brands (itel, Infinix and Tecno) held 12 percent share in India’s handset market in Q2. While itel led the sub-Rs 6,000 smartphone segment with a massive 77 percent share, Tecno captured the second spot in the sub-Rs 8,000 smartphone segment in the country, according to Counterpoint Research.
It will be a huge boost for homegrown brands like Micromax, Lava, Karbonn and others. A power to reckon with in the Indian mobile market till almost 2015; Karbonn, Micromax and Lava lost to Chinese brands post 2015. Samsung too, though not a big player in this segment, is likely to benefit from government’s ‘ban’.
Xiaomi and Realme have captured about 50 percent market share in India in the sub-$150 (Rs 12,000 and below) segment, according to Counterpoint Research.
India has already taken a tough stand against Chinese manufacturers, and recent raids on Chinese smartphone companies like Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi show. The Indian government is looking into cases of alleged tax evasion by three Chinese mobile companies — OPPO, Vivo India and Xiaomi.
(With agency inputs)

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