Under-Fire Chinese Smartphone Makers Seek Out Partnerships With Indian Manufacturers: Report

Chinese smartphone giants Oppo and Vivo are reportedly exploring potential partnerships for their India operations, engaging in early discussions with several Indian companies in the handset sector.

What Happened: These discussions involve Indian contract manufacturers and have attracted interest from large Indian firms eyeing entry into the consumer space, Moneycontrol reported, citing sources.

This move comes amid increased scrutiny of major Chinese smartphone companies in India, facing allegations ranging from customs duty and income tax evasion to money laundering.

Oppo and Vivo are reportedly in talks with Indian firms like Dixon, Lava International, Optiemus, Bhagwati (Micromax) and UTL Neolyncs. These discussions aim to forge stronger financial partnerships, with the Chinese firms seeking alliances with domestic players approved under the government’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme.

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Dixon Technologies is also considering acquiring a majority stake in the Indian unit of China’s Transsion Holdings, with separate discussions underway with Oppo and Vivo for similar partnerships, sources told the business daily.

The Indian government has encouraged Chinese phone manufacturers to involve Indian partners in their local operations and appoint Indian executives in key leadership roles, aiming for significant domestic influence in the mobile phone industry.

Besides joint venture talks, Chinese firms with manufacturing facilities are reportedly exploring outsourcing smartphone manufacturing to domestic companies, leveraging PLI benefits.

Dixon is said to be finalising agreements with Oppo and Vivo as customers, having already manufactured devices for brands like Xiaomi, Motorola and Samsung.

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