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No plan to ban Chinese phones priced below Rs 12,000, says govt

New Delhi: There is no plan under discussion to ban Chinese cellphones priced below Rs 12,000, government sources informed CNBC TV18 on August 29, days after reports that New Delhi was considering measures to drive cheaper made-in-China phones out of the domestic market.

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the administration “would not strive towards the exclusion of international brands.”

Measures, however, would be undertaken to “ensure space for Indian companies and Indian suppliers”.

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The government’s vision is of a robust and innovative electronics sector, with space for India brands, the source said, adding, “Wherever we feel that Indian brands are being crowded out due to unfair practices we will intervene.”

The government’s clarification, as reported by CNBC TV18, comes about three weeks after a Bloomberg story said that the Indian government was attempting to prevent Chinese smartphone manufacturers from dominating the market segment for devices priced less Rs. 12,00.

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According to market researcher Counterpoint, China contributed to roughly 80% of the shipments of smartphones priced under Rs 12,000 ($150), which made up one-third of the country’s overall smartphone sales during the April–June quarter.

Companies like Xiaomi Corp. and its competitors would have suffered greatly from a regulation that prohibited Chinese smartphone firms from competing in the market for less expensive devices.

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