tech

Amid boycott China calls, we take a look at the Indian smartphone market

Well, it might be possible to go local for certain products that you use everyday, the idea is way more difficult to implement when it comes to the Indian smartphone market.

Vivo Phone
Vivo Phone (Vivo)

Earlier this week when Indo-China clashes took place at the LAC where 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives, the anti-China sentiment and hatred towards Chinese products spread like wildfire across social media. Users on all the major platforms, let it be Facebook, Twitter or even YouTube comments, talked about boycotting China-based products and going all local. This acted as a fuel to fire since China was already not in the good books of many as it was being said to be the source of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Well, it might be possible to go local for certain products that you use everyday, the idea is way more difficult to implement when it comes to the Indian smartphone market. Why? Read on.

At the current date, Chinese smartphone brands are the ones that are on top in India. It's you, the customers who have helped brands like Realme, Xiaomi, Vivo and others bounce to the top five ranks with South Korean tech firm Samsung being the only exception. It was also these Chinese smartphone makers that entered India a few years ago and displaced local brands like Micromax, Lava, Karbonn and others by offering a greater value for money phones.

Also read: Indian smartphone brands planning to make a comeback soon

According to IDC, the top five smartphone players with largest market share in India during Q1 2020 were Xiaomi with 31.2% share, vivo with 21% share, Samsung with 15.6% share, Realme with 13.1% share and Oppo with 8.5% share. And many of you might already be knowing that Oppo, Vivo, Realme, iQoo and OnePlus, all of which have a presence in India, essentially fall under one Chinese giant - BBK Electronics.

Counterpoint research echoes the same stats (almost). In Q1 2020, Xiaomi led the way by grabbing 30% market share, followed by vivo, Samsung, Realme and Oppo at 17%, 16%, 14% and 12%.

But we understand that numbers are not everything. Despite the growing tension between the India-China border, brands like Xiaomi, Poco and Realme have given statements, reaffirming that they are more Indian than before, suggesting that they are here to stay and adapt as per the Indian customer’s needs.

And forget smartphones, some of them are into accessories as well, something that you use everyday as well. The car chargers, power banks, headphones, earphones, smart TVs, earbuds, laptops, dongles and everything else around you, all are manufactured by the Chinese tech firms. And we haven’t even started talking about millions of investments that Chinese companies have done in Indian firms, indirectly boosting the economy by a good margin.

Some tech firms and online serving platforms with major Chinese investments include Byju’s, Dream 11, Flipkart, Hike, Ola, Oyo, Paytm, Swiggy, Zomato and MakeMyTrip. Furthermore, companies like Vivo and others even have partnered for T20 Cricket world cup and other tournaments, funding them and supporting financially.

Looking at the entire scenario it might be easy to call out brands and say let’s boycott Chinese products, but when you think practically enough, the impact will be way more than what one would expect.