While comparatively newer companies such as Xiaomi, Meizu, LeEco, OPPO, Vivo and Gionee are among the more recognized Chinese smartphone brands in India right now, traditional biggies, such as Lenovo and Huawei, aren’t doing too badly either. Interestingly, most of these companies weren’t even looking to expand their operations beyond the Chinese borders until a couple of years ago, but have now become so bullish on India that quite a few of them have started setting up factories in the country to assemble their smartphones and other products. Xiaomi was the pioneer in choosing India as a smartphone manufacturing hub when the company awarded Foxconn Electronics the contract to start manufacturing its budget Redmi 2 devices in the country last year.
Since then, many other brands have joined the fray, and if a new report from Reuters is anything to go by, Huawei Technologies may well be the next big name to start manufacturing its smartphones in India as part of the federal government’s much-hyped ‘Make in India’ initiative. According to the report, the Chinese telecom giant’s proposal to start manufacturing in the country apparently got the all-clear from the authorities last July, nineteen months after the company applied for a license. Now that its proposal has been cleared, the Chinese multinational will start making its handsets in the country from the next month at a factory in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The plant is reportedly operated by the Indian arm of American electronics manufacturer, Flextronics International – the world’s second largest contact manufacturer of electronics after Taiwan’s Foxconn.
In a statement released earlier today, the CEO of Huawei India, Mr. Jay Chen, announced that the company is “convinced about the growth potential” and will “keep looking for opportunities to increase our presence (in India)”. According to the statement, the ‘Made in India’ devices should be available for purchase as early as next month itself. The company also said that it is planning to roll out around 3 million handsets from its Indian factory by the end of next year. India is currently the world’s third-largest smartphone market after China and the U.S. and is one of the only major markets to be still growing at double digits even as the rest of the world is experiencing a slowdown over the past few quarters.