Several unidentified men, who claim to be supporters of the Indian army, have attacked the stores of OPPO and Vivo in the city of Pune in India. The assault on two of the popular Chinese mobile phone brands comes amid an escalated conflict between the two countries over the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, Dalai Lama, who was, earlier this year, invited to a Buddhist conference hosted by the Indian culture ministry. The unidentified assailants were believed to be supporting the Indian government over the issue and the attack was supposed to be their way of asserting their unity with the Indian army, though government officials have yet to release a statement on the incident.
It remains unclear, as of this writing this article, whether store personnel, or any other individuals inside those stores, were injured during the attack. The cost of property damage is also not immediately known following the incident. Both OPPO and Vivo have yet to release their respective statements on the mishap, though it is possible that the companies might temporarily cease operation in the area following these attacks. According to reports, attackers have torn down posters of the two brands in addition to destroying their shops. The incident is sad for both the Chinese firms and India collectively, as it does not help in resolving the friction between India and China, but instead only further deepens their hostility towards one another. More to the point, the attack could only dampen China’s economic relationship with India, a major market for most Chinese products, mainly electronics, though.
China’s top smartphone manufacturers have been vastly making inroads to the Indian market in recent times. In fact, market research firm IDC reported earlier this year that Chinese smartphone vendors, which include Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo, have accounted for 40 percent of the Indian smartphone market last year. Other Chinese firms like Lenovo and LeEco have recently announced their plans to expand their offline presence in India. Other Chinese companies might follow suit in the near future, presumingn that the recent attacks in Pune won’t deaden their appetite when it comes investing in India.