MORE FROM KrASIA

OnePlus to make India its production hub, starts assembling smart TVs

Xiaomi India already manufactures its television sets in India.

Photo by Avanish Tiwary

Chinese electronics manufacturing majors Xiaomi and OnePlus will focus on assembling non-smartphone products in India in 2020, making use of the country’s widely popular “Make in India” campaign.

A local media report by Economic Times said Shenzhen-headquartered OnePlus is going to make India its production hub to supply products across the world. To begin with, it starts assembling its smart TVs in India through a partner from the first quarter of 2020, the report said. It will import the television panel in open-cell format, which requires further assembling to avail duty benefits.

Last year, India said it will not charge any import duty on open-cell television panels to strengthen the “Make in India” initiative. India’s five-year-old flagship program “Make In India,” seeks to make the country a manufacturing hub for overseas electronics companies.

The ET report, citing two senior industry executives, said homegrown contract manufacturer Dixon Technologies—which currently manufactures for Samsung, Xiaomi and Panasonic—is in talks with OnePlus to assemble its televisions in India.

Vikas Agarwal, OnePlus India general manager told ET that the company is in talks with its global component suppliers for investments since it imports all high-value components for television. However, he declined to comment on the partnership with Dixon Technologies.

Other electronics brands such as LG, Sony, and Samsung have all showed interest in increasing their assembling capabilities in India. Xiaomi already manufactures smart television sets in India, which it began in 2018.

The company will leverage its five million smartphone users in India to boost sales of its television sets, which it currently sells through Amazon, Reliance Digital, and its own brand stores. OnePlus, Agarwal told ET, will soon expand television distribution to other large-format stores, similar to what it did with its smartphones when it launched in India.

“Smart television is just 10% of the market and there is immense potential to grow. However, not all brands may survive like it happened in smartphones,” Agarwal told ET. He said OnePlus will expand its physical presence to 100 stores from the current 30 branded stores by December 2020.

On the other hand, OnePlus’ competitor Xiaomi India plans to launch exciting and disrupting Internet of Things (IoT) products in India in 2020.

“We think there’s an incredible opportunity to serve Indian customers with world-class smart home products,” Manu Jain, vice-president at Xiaomi told Indo-Asian News Service (IANS).  “We’re excited to lead the IoT growth story in this country along with bringing the most cutting-edge smartphone technology. It’s safe to say that the Indian market will continue to see exciting and disruptive products in the coming times,” Jain said.