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Difficult to reduce India’s dependence on Chinese device makers, says TMA

Photo: The New York Times

It would be difficult to reduce dependence on China-origin device makers by stopping supplies from the hostile country which might lead to unpleasant consumer experience, said a Delhi-based industry group, following the opposition by several trade organisations to Chinese products and India’s ambitious Atmanirbhar (self-reliance) move.

Earlier in June, the Directorate-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) restricted China-imported mobile handsets without IMEI number, and India’s increased quality clearances for e-products from China have slowed down the shipping to India.

“It is complex (to cut dependence) since the government would have to step up and support, train, subsidise and enhance the local manufacturing capabilities. It is not going to be an easy picking unless taken very seriously. If done right it could very easily overturn the deficit that we are facing today,” Bhawna Kumari, president of The Mobile Association (TMA) told ET Telecom.

However, Kumari added that 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic has taught that being completely reliant on other nations will be inviting a self-inflicted disaster.

“A short circuit in the supply chain relationships and meeting the demand goes haywire, which is not healthy for the citizens, nor for the economy, especially in difficult times,” she added.

Following the PM Narendra Modi’s clarion call of Atmanirbhar Bharat, the resentment against China-made products have surfaced.

Earlier, India had banned over 100 Chinese mobile apps in two tranches, under the section 69A of the Information Technology Act 2000.

In June this year, CAIT (Confederation of All India Traders) sought the intervention from Union Ministers Nirmala Sithraman, Piyush Goyal, and Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to initiate a probe into Chinese handset companies.

For the uninitiated, several China-based original equipment makers have set up their manufacturing bases in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Telangana over the past few years.

She further stated that the users’ privacy must be one of the crucial considerations in the wake of the ambitious”Make in India” program.

In the September quarter, the Chinese companies collectively had over 75% market share over domestic as well as Korean and US-based brands, according to Singapore-based marketing and research firm Canalys.