India is seeking to ban smartphones under Rs 12,000 from Chinese manufacturers. The move is said to be aimed at pushing Chinese giants out of the lower segment of the Indian market, a report had said earlier this week. With reports of smartphones under Rs 12,000 from manufacturers like Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, and more being banned surfacing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has jumped to the defence of Chinese firms. This comes at a time when Chinese brands are already under the scanner for alleged financial wrongdoings and business malpractices. In a statement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has urged India to “earnestly fulfill its commitment to openness and cooperation.”
The statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson on reports about India’s plans to ban sale of Chinese smartphones under Rs 12,000 says that “the trade and economic cooperation between China and India is mutually beneficial in nature.” “We urge the Indian side to earnestly fulfill its commitment to opennes and cooperation, and provide an open, fair, just, and non-discriminatory investment and business environment for Chinese companies. China will firmly support Chinese companies in defending their lawful interests and rights,” the statement said.
The statement comes after a Bloomberg report cited people familiar with the matter saying that the government is seeking to ban Chinese smartphones priced under Rs 12,000 or $150. The ban is said to come with the concern of high-volume Chinese brands undercutting local manufacturers. A minister was also quoted as saying in Business Standard that the dominance of Chinese brands in the market has not been on the basis of “free and fair competition.” Representatives from Xiaomi, Realme, and Transsion did not respond to requests seeking comments.
Now, Chinese smartphone makers are already facing scrutiny from Indian authorities over their finances on suspicion of tax evasion and money laundering. Recently, Chinese firms like Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo came under the Enforcement Directorate’s scanner over misappropriate funds. In July, the Enforcement Directorate carried out searches in 48 locations across India belonging to Vivo. Before that, in April, ED had conducted raids in Xiaomi locations and seized Rs 5,551 crores worth of assets belonging to Xiaomi Technology India.