Xiaomi Navigates India-China Relations Amidst Growing Scrutiny


Amidst heightened tensions between India and China, Xiaomi, a key player in India's smartphone market, has expressed concerns and made requests to the Indian government to address challenges faced by Chinese businesses operating in the country.


With an 18% share in India’s smartphone market, Xiaomi has raised alarm over the increased scrutiny faced by Chinese companies. Muralikrishnan B., President of Xiaomi India, emphasized the need for "confidence-building" measures to facilitate local setup of component operations. Xiaomi has urged the Indian government to consider offering manufacturing incentives and reducing import tariffs for specific smartphone components to ease burdens on Chinese companies.


Strained India-China relations following a 2020 border clash have led to heightened scrutiny of Chinese businesses by Indian authorities. Accusations against companies like Xiaomi have underscored concerns about breaches and illegal remittances. Consequently, actions such as freezing Xiaomi assets and banning Chinese apps have been taken, impacting investments and projects by Chinese firms.


Chinese electronics companies, including Xiaomi, face challenges ranging from visa difficulties to slow investment clearances. Xiaomi has proposed policy changes, advocating for further reductions in India’s import tariffs, particularly on sub-components, to enhance manufacturing competitiveness.


Responding to Xiaomi's concerns, Rajesh Kumar Singh, India’s top industrial policy bureaucrat, hinted at potential easing of scrutiny of Chinese investments if the border situation remains peaceful. This suggests a potential policy shift contingent upon geopolitical developments.


As Xiaomi continues to navigate India-China relations and grapple with challenges faced by Chinese businesses, its proactive engagement with the Indian government reflects a commitment to finding solutions amidst tensions. However, the path forward remains uncertain, pending geopolitical dynamics and policy decisions.

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