Xiaomi Corp. & Oppo, Chinese consumer electronics companies, are reportedly importing a few smartphone models in India as the local manufacturing facilities struggle to streamline production, in order to accommodate built-up demand from the lockdown period.
The move will help cater to the increasing demand from consumers during the COVID-19 lockdown. It is an expensive move as the 2nd largest smartphone market across the globe has imposed steep tariffs on the imports of devices & components. This is in line with Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister’s efforts to surge smartphone manufacturing in the country. It also highlights the challenges faced in reopening manufacturing plants as the total number of coronavirus confirmed cases have increased to over 300,000, with more than 8,000 death cases in India.
Sources familiar with the matter have stated that despite the operation resumption of the manufacturing plants in India, several smartphone facilities are facing issues regarding labor shortages. This happened along with product shortages as the nationwide lockdown for the past 2 months restricted the operations of businesses in several markets including smartphones. Sources added that the move can be considered a short-term measure taken to bridge the demand gap until the distribution and production drive back to normal.
Xiaomi smartphones marketed in India are manufactured by Foxconn, a contract manufacturer, in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. On the other hand, Oppo smartphones made in India are manufactured at its New Delhi facility.
Xiaomi, Oppo India, and Foxconn have declined to respond to requests for comments.
Owned by BBK Electronics, Oppo’s plant that manufactures smartphones for Realme and OnePlus brands were reopened with reduced workforce on 7th May. However, it was closed again for over a week due to rising concerns as multiple workers tested positive for COVID-19.
Realme has reportedly stated that the brand faces certain challenges as it has been unable to meet the rising market demands due to limited production capabilities and supply chain disruptions. It expects a normal manufacturing capacity by July 2020 end.