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Apple, Xiaomi, OPPO and more hit by import hurdles in India: Report

By Prakhar Khanna November 26, 2020, 6:06 am
iPhone 12

According to a report, Apple’s latest iPhone 12 lineup, Xiaomi devices and other gadgets had a slow down in import due to India’s “tight control of quality clearances for electronic goods from China.” Reportedly, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), which typically processes applications within 15 days is now taking up to two months and longer. This is likely to affect the brands’ plans for upcoming devices in India.

The latest development comes from Reuters, which reports that BIS started delaying approvals for China-made imports of devices like smartphones, smartwatches, and laptops. It is all part of the fallout from deteriorating ties with China after a border clash in June that left 20 Indian soldiers dead. It was only after that that the Indian government went on a Chinese app-ban spree, and banned apps like TikTok, CamScanner, and more, the latest of them being the popular game PUBG Mobile.


BIS tests and certifies product applications in India.

The report says that Apple India executives called on BIS to speed its approval up when the new iPhone 12 was caught in the delays. It did so by assuring that the company would continue to expand its assembly operations in India. We have reached out to Apple for a comment on the matter. For the unaware, Apple has assembly operations in India. But the iPhone 12 lineup is imported from China, where contract manufacturers make the bulk of Apple’s devices.

According to the report, around 1080 applications to BIS for laptops, tablets, and other devices are pending. Plus, 669 of those are waiting for more than 20 days. These include applications for devices from China-based factories of Wistron, Compal Electronics, and Hangzhou Hikvision. The BIS has also delayed smartwatch imports from Xiaomi and OPPO. We have also reached out to Xiaomi for a comment.  

Meanwhile, an ARMWorldwide (company that manages Amazfit brand in India) executive confirmed on Twitter that the delay in the launch of new smartwatches from multiple brands is due to the delay in BIS approvals since August 2020.

“While the BIS is delaying approvals for products like smartwatches, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is pushing companies to make these devices in India,” said one of the sources as per the report. It adds that Xiaomi was denied the special license to import roughly 30,000 units of TVs after India’s trade ministry restricted inbound shipments of TVs by requiring importers to get a special license in July 2020. Plus, Samsung has faced similar import hurdles.


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