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Chinese smartphone players to gain as Modi prepares for 5G launch

Chinese smartphone brands, major players in the Indian market, is expected to solidify its foothold there thanks to booming sales as the South Asian nation enters the 5G era, industry experts said, despite lingering challenges such as the Indian government’s heightened scrutiny of Chinese tech firms.

With the official announcement of 5G launch which is scheduled on October 1 by New Delhi, analysts said there would be a new wave of sales in Indian market. That’s especially true for Chinese smartphone makers, which have about two-thirds of the Indian market now.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will roll out 5G services on October 1 at an official launch event, Indian media reported. The country is scrambling to catch up with the pace of telecom development in Asia where major economies like China, Japan and South Korea have already rolled out 5G applications broadly.

Indian telecom officials previously said that high-speed 5G service will be launched in more than a dozen large Indian cities including New Delhi and Mumbai.

India’s 5G network upgrade will mean a range of opportunities for Chinese mobile phone firms, which have two-thirds of the market, leading to an expected sale of 20 million 5G phones before the year end. That is equivalent to an additional month of sales for the Chinese phone makers, Yang Shucheng, secretary general of the India China Mobile Phone Enterprise Association, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Currently, Chinese phone companies are ramping up efforts to meet the growing Indian market demand with a range of new devices.

For example, China’s Transsion, a fairly new player in the Indian market, launched its new Tecno Pova Neo 5G on Friday, with a price of 1,576 yuan ($221).

It is reported that the phone uses a 6,000mAh large-capacity battery, which would make it the smartphone with the strongest battery life currently being sold by Transsion in India.

The launch came just two months after Xiaomi launched its RedmiK50i 5G in mid-July, and other corresponding products such as Xiaomi’s 12T Pro 5G are to follow soon.

Chinese smartphones have shown resilience in the market, despite Indian authorities’ heightened scrutiny of Chinese technology companies by Indian regulators, which have caused disruptions and concern among Chinese businesses. But Chinese smartphone brands’ popularity among ordinary Indian consumers provides a firm foundation.

Shipments of smartphones in India reached 36.4 million in the second quarter, with Chinese brands accounting for about 70 percent, data released by Canalys showed. China’s Xiaomi, Realme, Vivo and Oppo ranked among the top five.


“This shows that Indian consumers puts importance on phone quality, while not political factors,” Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Despite regulatory interventions, which led to the failure of Chinese companies to take part in India’s 5G network construction, Chinese mobile companies are participating in a different way. They have played their part with their contribution to India’s 4G network, Qian said.

“Many Chinese mobile phones are already equipped with 5G functions, and with the launch of 5G service in India, they will be favored by Indian consumers,” Qian said. Global Times

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