Chinese OEMs are likely struggling in India. According to a latest report from The morning concept, the Indian government has sent a notice to some Chinese tech brands requesting details of the data and components used in their devices. Earlier this week, an official notice was sent to brands including Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi, and OnePlus. Also Read – Best smartphones with fast charging support under Rs 20,000
Since last year, Chinese app makers and developers have come under scrutiny for various security and privacy issues. Last September, the Indian government banned hundreds of Chinese apps in the country, including some of the most popular like PUBG Mobile, TikTok, Camscanner, among others. Read also – Xiaomi Smart Home Days sale will start on March 7: Check discounts, offers
These Chinese apps have been banned under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act. The government was concerned that these Chinese apps would steal data and other personal information from Indian users and send it to China. Although it has not been officially proven, several reports suggest that popular Chinese apps such as TikTok and Krafton’s PUBG Mobile were collecting crucial user data in India and sending it directly to Chinese companies. Also Read – OnePlus 10 Pro India launch details confirmed at MWC 2022: Here’s everything you need to know
The latest government notice was sent to Chinese OEMs based on similar motives and fears.
Notice to Chinese phone manufacturers
In the notice, the Indian government specifically asked Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo and OnePlus to share information about the data and components they use to power their devices. Reports suggest that the government may soon send another notice requiring the testing of devices from these brands.
Since the government retaliated against hundreds of Chinese apps last year, most Chinese smartphone brands serving Indian consumers have gone all out to promote their “made in India” strategy. These brands have also promised to increase local production and investment. According to some reports, some of these investments promised by these Chinese brands have not been made and the notice is a kind of retaliation for this.
Meanwhile, the Indian government is also said to be concerned and wants to understand if it is safe for Indians to use the products of these Chinese brands. None of the OEMs have revealed specific details about this. We also don’t have a clear word from the government as to why they want to test these devices.
Safety a concern?
According to Counterpoint Research, the companies in question, including Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi and OnePlus, together account for more than 50% of India’s smartphone market. Another report from the Economic period suggests that these major Chinese brands have recently “developed a layer of Chinese partners” to sell their products in India, raising concerns about interest from Indian regulators.
Currently, there is no legal framework in place to prohibit such operations. Along with the latest notice, the government is also expected to discuss its views on these marks. According to the report, this will be done during the drafting of a legal framework, which will include a section on relations with distribution companies from countries that share India’s borders.
The same report suggests the advisory could be part of a broader crackdown on Chinese companies in the country. In fact, it could also go along the same lines as the government’s investigation into components used by Chinese telecom companies, including Huawei and ZTE.
Besides hardware, the government also seems to be worried about software details, mainly pre-installed apps on Chinese smartphones. Most Android smartphones (Chinese or non-Chinese) come preinstalled with some of their own apps. For example, Xiaomi/Redmi phones come with Mi Store, Xiaomi Community, Mi Browser, among others.
The latest order suggests that the government is concerned that these apps and the hardware used in the phones could endanger the safety of Indian users.