Chinese smartphone brands under surveillance, government must check components, preinstalled apps: report

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  • Indian government reportedly sent notices to Chinese smartphone brands Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi and Oneplus.
  • The reviews require these companies to share details about the components used in their smartphones.
  • The purpose of this investigation is ultimately to determine whether these products are safe to use for Indian consumers.

2020 saw the Indian government take a drastic step by banning 220 Chinese apps in India. The reason for the move was security concerns amid continuing tensions between China and India. It appears that the Indian government is now targeting Chinese smartphone brands with notices sent out for details of the data and components used in the phones, according to one.
report by The morning context.

The companies in question are Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi and OnePlus which together account for more than 50% of the Indian smartphone market, according to data from Counterpoint Research. The investigation would seek to determine whether the smartphones sold by these Chinese smartphone brands are safe for Indian consumers. After the first request for data and component details, the Indian government is expected to send out another notice which will require these smartphones to be tested. We have contacted the companies for confirmation, and will update as soon as we have a response.

Since the Indian government’s retaliation against Chinese apps last year, Chinese smartphone brands have been promoting their “Indianness” quite aggressively and also increasing local production and investment in the country. But according to the report, some of these investments pledged to the government by the four Chinese companies have not been honored, and the new notices are said to be a kind of retaliation. Among the companies mentioned, Oppo, Vivo and its sub-brand iQoo had the largest share of unsuccessful investment proposals. But it is not clear why Xiaomi is involved in this as it has made its investments so far, the report added.

According to a
report By ET, the new advisories are expected to be part of a broader crackdown on Chinese companies in India. It could also be in line with the government’s investigation of components used by Chinese telecommunications companies such as Huawei and ZTE. Not only hardware but details of software, especially apps preinstalled on Chinese smartphones, may also be subject to scrutiny, the report adds.

These Chinese brands are said to be in a panic with the notices being sent because there isn’t much clarity on how the investigation will be conducted and what could follow afterwards.

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