New Delhi: China’s Huawei is encouraging its global suppliers to come invest in India in order to build a mobile phone components ecosystem as the company aims to locally manufacture 90% of its phones by the end of this year, Peter Zhai, president, Huawei India Consumer Business Group, said.
The firm, the third largest after Samsung and Apple in global smartphone sales, is also planning to step up manufacturing capacities. Huawei has a single original equipment manufacturer partner Flex in Chennai for its mobile devices business in India.
The firm runs two mobile phone brands in India—Huawei and Honor—with the former focusing on the high-end segment. “We are keeping very close touch with all our component suppliers and we are also encouraging them to invest in India. Let’s see. It will take time but I believe made in India will be the right direction. We will follow that," Zhai said.
Zhai was in Delhi to launch the flagship P20 series smartphones—Huawei P20 Pro at Rs64,999 and Huawei P20 Lite at Rs19,999. The phones will be exclusively available on Amazon from 3 May.
“They (component suppliers) are interested and they have the planning... Our suppliers are also global. Huawei has a significant share of the world smartphone business, that’s why our opinions are also very important to influence decisions. Since we have decided to develop the India market, I believe a lot of suppliers will be willing to support us and be willing to follow us to enter this market," he added.
This comes after the government on 2 April imposed a 10% basic customs duty on import of smartphone components such as camera modules and PCB assemblies. Prior to this, there was no import duty on these components.
Moreover, in the budget, the centre had increased customs duty on mobile phones to 20% from 15%.
The measures are in line with the government’s Phased Manufacturing Programme, which aims to boost local manufacture of phones.
In its first phase, the government had targeted production of various components for three years—mechanics, die-cut parts, microphones and receivers, keypads and USB cables in 2017-18; printed circuit boards, camera modules and connectors in 2018-19; and display assemblies, touch panels, vibrator motors and ringers in 2019-20.
Huawei’s rival in India, Xiaomi, has already hosted 50-odd suppliers, which manufacture components such as touch panels, camera modules and LCD and LED panels for it, on a three-day tour of Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh to explore investment opportunities.