New Delhi (Sputnik): If smartphone sales are an indication, Indian consumers have ignored a vigorous social media campaign to boycott Chinese products. Smartphone brands from China are featuring prominently in store shelves across India.
Three of the largest Chinese smartphone brands — Lenovo, Oppo and Xiaomi — recorded healthy sales during the Indian fiscal year 2015-16 despite boycott calls.
The call for boycott of Chinese products and services came amidst Indian PM Narendra Modi’s demonetization drive which has significantly boosted the usage of Paytm in which Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba reportedly owns a 40% stake.
How times change or why boycotts are harder today…— Tanvi Madan (@tanvi_madan) November 15, 2016
recently: calls to boycott Chinese goods in India
now: rush to Alibaba-backed Paytm
Lenovo India owns the Lenovo and Motorola brands. Both almost doubled their revenues. Oppo more than quadrupled sales, edging closer to the INR 10 billion-mark ($ 147 million) in its second year of operations in the country.
Lenovo India’s turnover touched $1.53 billion in 2015-16 compared with over half a billion dollars in the previous fiscal year. Motorola, a struggling US brand till the Lenovo takeover, has been a huge success in online sales.
China’s largest smartphone maker Oppo’s sale in India grew to $137 million in 2015-16 as compared to $31 million in 2014-15, as per the filings. Xiamoi is also expanding its offline presence and pushing tie-ups with new online partners, backed by a diverse product portfolio and manufacturing capacity to meet demand. It has led to a 150 per cent growth in volumes.
The share of Chinese smartphone brands in India has increased from 18 % to 32 % in the last one year according to the Hong Kong-–based market tracker Counterpoint Research. And now more Chinese firms like LeEco, Vivo, One Plus et al are joining the race to carve their share of the Indian smartphone pie.
"Chinese phone makers are doing to Indian brands what they did to global brands two years ago," Tarun Pathak, analyst at Counterpoint Research in New Delhi, told PTI.
In fact, even the South Korean electronics giant Samsung has been forced to expand its product portfolio to compete with Chinese brands in the budget category.