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Business News/ Companies / News/  Chinese firm Infinix evaluating local manufacturing for laptops
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Chinese firm Infinix evaluating local manufacturing for laptops

Infinix is looking at a time frame of less than a year to begin production in India so as to comply with policy changes that will come into effect on laptop imports from next year

Infinix has been making smartphones in India for the local market since 2019. It ventured into selling laptops in 2021. (iStockphoto)Premium
Infinix has been making smartphones in India for the local market since 2019. It ventured into selling laptops in 2021. (iStockphoto)

Chinese smartphone maker Infinix is evaluating local manufacturing of laptops in India within a year, for which it was holding discussions with original design manufacturers, a top executive said.

The brand, which is part of the Transsion Group that became a top five smartphone seller globally last month, has been making smartphones in India for the local market since 2019. It ventured into selling laptops in 2021. With a 7-8% share on e-commerce retailer Flipkart, the brand is currently importing all the laptops it sells in the country.

“We’re evaluating going into production of laptops in India, and the other things we can do here. We’re talking to players for local production but the challenge is the ecosystem, which is essential," Anish Kapoor, chief executive officer at Infinix India, said in an interaction.

The top executive, however, said the quality of the product will remain a paramount consideration even during local production. Further, the required ecosystem must be in place for the product to be fully made here and meet quality standards.

Infinix is looking at a time frame of less than a year to begin production within the country so as to comply with the policy changes that will come into effect on laptop imports from next year.

The government has put in an import management system from 1 November this year, as per which companies will be able to import IT hardware products including laptops, tablets, all-in-one personal computers, servers and ultra-small form factor devices, without any restrictions for a year.

However, after 1 November 2024 imports will be curtailed in a staggered way every year and import quantities will be determined based on factors including the amounts imported in the previous year, products made locally in the previous year and quantities exported from India in the previous year.

While the import restrictions will be imposed till 2030 and reviewed thereafter, the year-long period is aimed at giving companies that do not make the products in India, an adequate time frame to create local manufacturing capacities.

Infinix will join the likes of HP, Dell and other overseas brands that are either ramping up their own manufacturing capabilities or are tying up with electronics manufacturing service (EMS) providers to begin local production. Last month, Intel said it had collaborated with Bhagwati Products Ltd, Dixon Technologies India Ltd, Kaynes Technology India Ltd, Optiemus Electronics Ltd, Panache Digilife Ltd, Smile Electronics Ltd, Syrma SGS Technology Ltd, and VVDN Technologies Private Ltd, for accelerating laptop manufacturing in India.

In September, HP Inc collaborated with Google to make Chromebooks in India.

Infinix could get the benefit of the six-year PLI scheme for IT hardware products—laptops, tablets, all-in-one personal computers, servers and ultra small form factor devices—with an outlay of 17,000 crore, if it were to partner with an EMS player that has applied to get benefits under the scheme. Dixon Technologies’ subsidiary Padget Electronics, and Optiemus Electronics are among the 32 applicants approved under the scheme.

The scheme is expecting to get investments worth 2,430 crore which will generate direct employment for 75,000 people while generating incremental production worth 3.35 trillion, as per the government.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gulveen Aulakh
Gulveen covers both corporate and economy, and policy sections of Mint. She also covers telecom, IT from the corporate side and disinvestment, finance ministry from the economy side. Gulveen finds the rare mix of sectors she covers to be incredibly interesting.
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Published: 25 Dec 2023, 11:39 PM IST
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