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India accuses China of dumping 4G phones

Posted: 26 Aug 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smartphone? 4G? Make in India?

Chinese phone makers have outplayed local manufacturers in India in the 4G market, prompting home-grown brands to cry foul over the profuse selling of China-made high-speed devices in the country, The Economic Times reported.

Vikas Jain, co-founder of Micromax, said that Chinese companies are treating India as a "dumping ground" for 4G phones that may not have Band 3 or the 1800MHz band, one of the two bands which India allows for 4G services. The other one is the 2300MHz band.

Micromax is the second biggest phone seller in India.

An executive from one of the Chinese companies, which the paper did not name, denied the charge, saying local sellers are facing a difficult time as their suppliers from China have already entered India. This led Indian companies to look for new sources, making it hard for them to join the 4G bandwagon.

In essence, phone makers in India are worried that China-based companies entering the 4G market early would lock them out of the competition in the near future.

According to IDC, handset makers from China including Huawei, Xiaomi, Lenovo and Gionee registered a 12 per cent share in India's smartphone market for the second quarter, growing double from its record last year. When it comes to 4G phones, Indian brands occupy less than 10 per cent of the market as compared to Chinese makers that have taken almost half at 45 per cent.

Another Asian competitor, Samsung, is also leading in 4G and currently reigns as the top mobile phone seller in India. Lenovo and Xiaomi tail the South Korean giant, according to CMR data.

The only local company in the top 10 4G brands is Micromax, whose share dropped from 10 per cent to just 6 per cent in the June quarter. Other Indian brands such as Intex, Lava and Karbonn have entered the 4G market only recently.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Make in India initiative, which aims to promote the country as a manufacturing hub, has attracted contract manufacturer like Foxconn to build facilities in its shores. Recently, Xiaomi partnered with Foxconn to make smartphones in Andhra Pradesh.

- Stephen Padilla

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