Reuters reported that the Indian Ministry of Communications has stopped approving devices equipped with Chinese-made wireless network units since at least November, in order to pressure companies to manufacture products in India.
The move, led by the Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing of the Ministry of Communications, reportedly delayed the launch of more than 80 products for US companies, such as Dell and HP, in addition to Chinese companies such as: Lenovo, Oppo and Xiaomi.
Also, orders received from some Indian companies, which bring some products from China, are awaiting approval from the Wireless Planning and Coordination Pavilion.
Imports from China were delayed for finished electronic devices, such as: bluetooth speakers, wireless earphones, smart phones, smart watches and laptops containing wireless network units.
India’s tough stance on Chinese imports comes amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for greater economic self-reliance.
His nationalist policies helped promote the growth of smartphone assembly in the South Asian country, and it appears that the government’s intention is to persuade companies to locate more of their electronic production in India.
The idea of the government revolves around pushing companies to manufacture these products in India, but technology companies are stuck in a difficult situation, as business in India means large investments and a long wait for returns, and on the other hand, the hurdle imposed by the government on imports means a potential loss of revenue.
While the market potential in India has transformed it into the second largest maker of mobile phones in the world, it does not have the right size or scope for companies to invest heavily in IT products and smart wearables.
The long delay in the approvals of the Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing also underscores India’s strategy to limit China’s influence in its technology economy, especially after the border clash with Beijing last year.
This week, the Modi government removed the Chinese hardware company Huawei from the list of participants in 5G trials, despite European and Korean competitors being allowed.
Last year, American companies entered the midst of border tensions between India and China, as Indian ports halted imports of their products from China.