India reportedly stalls China-made device launches in push for local production

Dell, HP and Xiaomi are among the affected companies.

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Jon Fingas
May 8, 2021 3:01 PM
In this article: China, WiFi, news, gear, Oppo, Lenovo, politics, HP, Vivo, India, Dell, Xiaomi
Young Indian women wearing pollution mask against Coronavirus or COVID-19 and she using mobile phone at home.
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India's attempts to spur domestic tech manufacturing might include holding up product launches. Reuters sources claim the country's Communications Ministry has withheld approval of devices with China-made WiFi modules since "at least" November, reportedly to pressure companies into manufacturing products in India. The move has reportedly delayed over 80 product launches for American companies like Dell and HP as well as Chinese firms like Lenovo, Oppo and Xiaomi.

The ministry hasn't responded to requests for comment. The insiders also said the government hadn't responded to companies or industry groups.

The delays come relatively soon after a border dispute with China led to India banning TikTok and other Chinese-origin apps, although the two nations have relaxed their guard in the time since. However, it's safe to say the report could strain relations if true — India would be directly hurting Chinese business by forcing late product launches.

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Affected companies would also be in a difficult position. They frequently can't ignore India as one of the world's largest tech markets, but committing to local production typically involves massive investments that can take years to generate results. The added pressure may lead them to make a decision sooner, but that choice might not get any easier.

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