Chinese companies facing new import barriers to India: report

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NEW DELHI / SHANGHAI: Chinese companies like Xiaomi face delays in obtaining approvals from India’s quality control agency for their products, five industry sources told Reuters, as the business environment deteriorates after the stalemate in eastern Ladakh.
A closer look at Chinese imports follows calls for a boycott by nationalist groups, angered by the killing of 20 Indian soldiers during the border clash in June.
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has delayed approvals of mobile phone components and televisions in recent weeks, jeopardizing the plans of companies such as Xiaomi and Oppo, industry sources in India and China have said.
BIS chief executive Pramod Kumar Tiwari did not respond to requests for comment. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond.
Xiaomi declined to comment, while Oppo did not respond.
The most serious border tension in decades between the Asian giants has already damaged their economic relations and Indian officials expect the damage to worsen.“The relationship has deteriorated considerably towards the south,” an official said, adding that India was unlikely to immediately approve several investment proposals from Chinese companies.
“We can’t do business as usual. ”
India mandated the review of investment flows from China in April, but the government has been slow to approve them since the shock.
The Commerce Department did not respond to a request for comment.
Blocked approvals
A senior official said the government was working on a new standardization policy – likely to be announced by the end of August – with the aim of targeting low-quality products from China and elsewhere .
But those deliberations have blocked approvals for even Chinese branded companies hoping to increase sales, an Indian industry source said.
“The products are not approved as quality standards are being upgraded, which could affect many product lines,” said the manager, who declined to be identified.

Chinese smartphone brands, including Oppo and Xiaomi, account for eight out of 10 smartphones sold in India. While the two companies assemble most of their models in India, several components are imported from China.
Modi has called in recent weeks for a “self-sufficient India”, urging the industry to focus on increasing domestic production.
Under the BRI’s registration system, certain electronic products – whether imported or manufactured locally – must meet Indian standards. Once companies have tested their products in a certified laboratory, BIS approves the applications.
An informed source with a smartphone maker in China, which was affected by delays, said BIS requests were typically processed within 15 days, but were now “left in limbo.”
As of Friday, 643 requests were pending registration, including 394 for more than 20 days, the BIS website said. He did not say how many were from Chinese companies.
The CP-UP Certification Technology Service Co, an agency based in the Chinese city of Guangzhou that helps clients with these authorizations, told clients in an Aug. 4 notice that BIS has stopped processing claims from “non-Indian manufacturers. “From July 23” because of the trade war between China and India “.
It was not immediately clear whether imports from countries other than China were also blocked.
A BIS official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said additional checks were underway in consultation with several ministries before validating any requests.

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