Chinese smartphone vendors are stepping up investments in India in a move to establish a beachhead in the world’s fastest-growing smartphone arena, as the intensified competition and a saturated home market push them to look for overseas opportunities.
Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world’s third largest smartphone maker, said it has started assembling smartphones in India by partnering with local manufacturer Flex India.
The move came after Gionee Communications Equipment Co Ltd said in September that it would pour in 495 million yuan ($73.8 million) to build factories in the world’s second most populous country. The smartphone plants, located in northern India, will go into operation in two years and its annual production capacity will reach 30 million units.
In the third quarter of 2016, when the global smartphone market grew a modest 5 percent, the smartphone shipments in India grew a healthy 23 percent annually. Almost one in three smartphones shipped to India in the quarter were Chinese brands, data from Counterpoint Research show.
Xiaomi Corp, a major Chinese vendor known for its online sales strategy, has also started making handsets in India by teaming up with Foxconn Technology Group, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer.
Vivo Communication Technology Co is sponsoring the Indian Premier League, the most-watched cricket tournament in India. Xiaomi also promised to channel more resources to boost its brand image.
Oppo and Vivo are very active in finding local brick-and-mortar retail partners, a strategy that has helped them secure the top two position in China in the third quarter.
By Baishakhi Dutta