Mobile news

Chinese smartphone brands under scrutiny, government to check components, pre-installed apps: Report

  • The Indian government has reportedly sent notices to Chinese smartphone brands Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi and OnePlus.
  • The notices require these companies to share details on the components used in their smartphones.
  • The purpose of this investigation is to ultimately determine if these products are safe to use for Indian consumers.

2020 saw the Indian government take a drastic measure by
banning 220 Chinese apps in India. The reason behind this decision was security concerns amid the ongoing tensions between China and India. It looks like the Indian government is now targeting Chinese smartphone brands with notices sent seeking details on the data and components used in the phones, according to a
report by The Morning Context.

The companies in question are Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi and OnePlus which together account for more than 50% of the Indian smartphone market, according to data from Counterpoint Research. The investigation is reportedly to find out if the smartphones sold by these Chinese smartphone brands are safe for Indian consumers. After the initial query of details on the data and components, the Indian government is expected to send another notice which will require testing of these smartphones. We’ve reached out to companies for confirmation, and we’ll update as soon as we get a response.

Ever since the Indian government’s retaliation against Chinese apps last year, Chinese smartphone brands promoted their “Indianness” quite aggressively and increased local production and investments in the country as well. But according to the report, some of these investments promised to the government by the four Chinese companies were not fulfilled, and the new notices are said to be a sort of retaliation. Among the companies mentioned, Oppo, Vivo and its sub-brand iQoo had the biggest share of investment proposals that were not pushed through. But it isn’t clear why Xiaomi is involved in this as it has come through with its investments so far, the report added.

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According to a
report by ET, the new notices are expected to be part of a larger crackdown against Chinese companies in India. It also could be in line with the government’s investigation into components used by Chinese telecom companies such as Huawei and ZTE. Not just hardware but software details, especially pre-installed apps on Chinese smartphones may also come under scrutiny, the report added.

These Chinese brands are reportedly in panic with the notices sent out as there’s not much clarity on how the investigation will be carried out and what else could follow after.


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