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Indian government reportedly seeks to ban sub-$150 Chinese smartphones in the country

The Indian government is seeking to restrict Chinese handset makers from selling sub-INR12,000 ($150/€147) smartphones in the country in a bid to push the Chinese brands out of the lower segment, reports Bloomberg.

This move would affect Xiaomi, Realme, and Transsion the most since they sell a lot of smartphones in the sub-$150 segment in India. According to Counterpoint, smartphones in this price category contributed to a third of India’s sales volume for the quarter through June 2022, with Chinese brands accounting for up to 80% of those shipments.

The idea behind banning Chinese brands from selling smartphones in the sub-$150 segment in India is to allow local players such as Lava and Micromax to boost their sales in this category and regain the market share.

The sales of both companies comprised just less than 50% of India’s smartphone sales before they were undercut by Chinese brands, which offered better specs at lower prices and eventually went on to dominate the second-largest smartphone market in the world. According to Counterpoint, Xiaomi, Samsung, vivo, Realme, and Oppo were the top five smartphone brands in India through Q2 2022, with Samsung being the only non-Chinese company on the list.

Source: Counterpoint Research

Source: Counterpoint Research

While we are yet to hear anything about this from the Indian government, this development comes at a time when Chinese smartphone brands Xiaomi, vivo, and Oppo are on the Indian government’s radar for illegal business activities in the country, including money laundering and tax evasion.

The Indian government has also banned hundreds of Chinese apps and games in Indiaincluding PUBG – after a clash between the Indian and Chinese troops along the Himalayan border over two years ago increased tensions between the two nuclear-armed countries.


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