India import hurdles hit Apple iPhone, Xiaomi devices from China

Joanna Estrada
November 27, 2020

The BIS typically processes imports within 15 days, but reports are the paperwork is now taking up to two months to complete. The report states that the BIS has been delaying approvals since August for devices made in China and are being imported in India.

This development follows the application ban which the government imposed just a few days back on 43 more chinese apps that included the major e-commerce website, AliExpress.

Made-in-China devices from Xiaomi, Apple, and other tech companies are apparently facing import delays in India owing to increased tensions between the two countries.

As of Wednesday, 1,080 BIS applications for laptops, tablets and other devices were on hold, of which 669 were waiting more than 20 days, according to the site Agency web. Several Apple India executives affirmed the BIS the company will expand its assembly operations in India, but so far nothing has come out of this communication. Some of the applications for approval have been pending since September.

While Prime Minister Modi promotes self-reliance, local production and being "Vocal for Local", Indian traders as well as the Hindu Nationalist groups are advocating the boycott of imported products from China because of the border clash.

"What India did is a serious violation of market principles and WTO rules, and the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies", Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press conference on Thursday in response to a question from Reuters about India's import hurdles on electronic goods from China.

The publication reports that the processing of applications submitted to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) - a regulatory body that needs to certify all consumer devices sold in India - is being delayed. Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo did not respond to the requests for comment.

Wistron and Compal did not respond to requests for comment.

BIS Director General Pramod Kumar Tiwari and India's tech ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

Smartphone companies in India have been hit with supply constraints as imports from China have been held up. Delays also occur during India's holiday season, when customers make big purchases of everything from cellphones to gold and cars.

BRI delays have also hit smartwatch imports for companies such as Xiaomi and Oppo, the two sources said. 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. Samsung did not respond to a request for comment.

Delayed products include smartphones, smartwatches, and laptops.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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