New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS): The India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), a leading industry body, on Wednesday urged the government to intervene and help Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo move its huge shipment carrying devices worth $15 million, which is currently stuck at the New Delhi international airport, to neighbouring markets.
Bloomberg reported that at least 27,000 smartphones worth $15 million "are being held up at the New Delhi airport by the revenue intelligence unit, a branch of the Finance Ministry".
The action, according to the report citing sources, has been taken "over an alleged mis-declaration of the device models and their value".
ICEA Chairman Pankaj Mohindroo told IANS that we as a nation "cannot afford to allow the emergence of a scenario, whereby, some officers from the enforcement agencies can derail this process through some unilateral and preposterous actions which can disillusion global companies".
Mohindroo said that the investments into this sector during the past 5-6 years has been facilitated and achieved due to a humongous amount of hard work and co-ordinated efforts through many preceding years.
"This was to support and fulfil Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambition to make India as the global manufacturing hub for electronics products and number one exporting destination for mobile phones," he added.
Vivo did not comment on the development.
India has stepped up its crackdown on Chinese firms over the years.
The Indian government is looking into cases of alleged tax evasion by three Chinese mobile companies -- OPPO, Vivo India, and Xiaomi.
The companies were served notices by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) for duty evasion.
India has also banned more than 300 Chinese apps, including Tencent's WeChat and ByteDance's TikTok.
The country is now bolstering its domestic smartphone and chip manufacturing sector.
Amid India's escalating crackdown on Chinese companies, China-based smartphone brands are now planning to set up manufacturing plants in countries like Egypt, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Nigeria, according to a Global Times report.
However, despite the Indian government's heightened scrutiny of Chinese tech firms, the Chinese smartphone brands are expected to solidify their foothold in the country owing to booming sales in the 5G era, state-run Global Times reported recently, citing industry experts.
India's smartphone shipments in Q3 2022 were 44.6 million units, led by Xiaomi with 9.2 million units and followed by Samsung.
Vivo and OPPO jumped to third and fourth place, shipping 7.3 million and 7.1 million units respectively, while realme was fifth, shipping 6.2 million.