Chinese phone brands making the Indian government nervous? Know the details
Chinese OEMs are probably struggling in India. According to a latest report from The morning concept, the Indian government has sent a notice to some Chinese tech brands asking for details about the data and components used in their devices. Earlier this week, an official notice was sent to brands such as Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi and OnePlus. Also Read – Best smartphones under Rs 20,000 with AMOLED display October 2021: Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, Realme X7 5G, more
Since last year, Chinese manufacturers and app developers have come under scrutiny over various security and privacy concerns. Last September, the Indian government banned hundreds of Chinese apps in the country, including some of the most popular like PUBG Mobile, TikTok, Camscanner, among others. Also Read – Will Redmi Note 11 series cost less than Redmi Note 10 Pro Max?
These Chinese applications have been banned under Section 69A of the Information Technology Law. The government was concerned that these Chinese apps would steal data and other personal information from Indian users and send it to China. Although this has not been officially proven, several reports have suggested that popular Chinese apps such as TikTok and Krafton’s PUBG Mobile are collecting crucial user data from India and sending it directly to Chinese companies. Also Read – Best Gaming Phones Under Rs 35,000 To Buy In India In October 2021
The government’s latest notice was sent to Chinese OEMs on the basis of similar motives and fears.
Notice to Chinese phone makers
In the notice, the Indian government specifically asked Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo and OnePlus to share information about the data and components they use to power their devices. Reports suggest that the government may soon send out another notice demanding testing of devices of these brands.
Since the government’s retaliation against hundreds of Chinese apps last year, most Chinese smartphone brands serving Indian consumers have done everything possible to promote their âmade in Indiaâ strategy. These brands have also promised to increase production and local investments. Apparently, some of these investments promised by these Chinese brands have not been made and the notice is a kind of retaliation for it.
Meanwhile, the Indian government is also said to be worried and would like to understand whether it is safe for Indians to use products of these Chinese brands. None of the OEMs have revealed specific details about it. We also don’t have a clear word from the government on why they want to test these devices.
Is security a concern?
According to Counterpoint Research, the companies in question, including Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi and OnePlus, together account for more than 50% of the Indian smartphone market. Another report from Economic times suggests that these big Chinese brands have recently “developed a layer of Chinese partners” to sell their products in India, which worries the interest of Indian regulators.
At present, there is no legal framework in place to prohibit such transactions. With the latest opinion, the government is also expected to discuss its views on these brands. According to the report, this will be done when drafting a legal framework, which will include a section on dealing with distribution companies from countries that share India’s borders.
The same report suggests that the opinion could be part of a broader crackdown on Chinese companies in the country. In fact, it could also be along the same lines as the government’s investigation into the components used by Chinese telecommunications companies, notably Huawei and ZTE.
In addition to hardware, the government also appears to be concerned about software details, mostly apps preinstalled on Chinese smartphones. Most Android smartphones (Chinese or non-Chinese) come preinstalled with some of their own apps. For example, Xiaomi / Redmi phones come with Mi Store, Xiaomi Community, Mi Browser, among others.
The latest order hints that the government is concerned that these apps and the hardware used in the phones endanger the safety of Indian users.