India may ban Chinese smartphones under Rs 12000

Reportedly, Indian government is planning to put a ban on China-based smartphone players from selling low-end smartphones (less than Rs 12,000) to boost the sale of homegrown brands like Micromax, Lava, Karbonn and others.

Bloomberg report citing sources that came out on Monday, the country “seeks to restrict Chinese smartphone makers from selling devices cheaper than Rs 12,000 (USD 150) to kick-start its faltering domestic industry”.

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 government’s intentions, if true, will give a body blow to companies like Xiaomi and Realme that have captured about 50 per cent market share in India in the sub-USD 150 (Rs 12,000 and below) segment, according to Counterpoint Research.

“Overall, sub-$150 smartphones contributed to 31 per cent of the total smartphone volumes in India in the June quarter this year, compared to 49 per cent in the same quarter in 2018,” Research Director Tarun Pathak told IANS.

“Chinese brands dominate 75-80 per cent of these volumes as Jio PhoneNext has ramped up in the last few quarters. This segment is currently dominated by realme and Xiaomi with 50 per cent share,” Pathak added.

Shenzhen-based Transsion Holdings, which has brands like Tecno, Infinix and Itel in its kitty, is also a formidable player in the low-end and affordable segment in the country. Transsion Group brands (itel, Infinix and Tecno) captured a 12 per cent share in India`s handset market in Q2.

While itel led the sub-Rs 6,000 smartphone segment with a massive 77 per cent share, Tecno captured the second spot in the sub-Rs 8,000 smartphone segment in the country, according to Counterpoint Research.