Chinese firms hit as India’s quality control agency holds up approvals

Xiaomi, Oppo face delays as BIS keeps applications pending

Chinese firms like Xiaomi are facing delays getting approvals from India’s quality control agency for their goods, five industry sources told Reuters, as the business environment deteriorates after a clash on their Himalayan border.

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has in recent weeks delayed approvals for mobile phone components and televisions, jeopardising the plans of firms such as Xiaomi as well as Oppo, industry sources in India and China said.

BIS Director General Pramod Kumar Tiwari did not respond to requests for comment. China’s commerce ministry and the foreign ministry did not immediately respond. Xiaomi declined to comment, while Oppo did not respond. India’s trade ministry did not respond to a request for comment. A senior Indian official said the government was working on a new standards policy in a bid to target low-quality products from China and elsewhere. But those deliberations have stalled approvals for even branded Chinese companies’ hoping to step up sales, an Indian industry source said. Chinese smartphone brands, including Oppo and Xiaomi, account for eight of every 10 smartphones sold in India. While the two companies assemble most of their models in India, several components are imported from China.

A source briefed at a smartphone maker in China, which has been affected by delays, said BIS applications were typically processed within 15 days but had now “been left in limbo”.

As of Friday, 643 applications were pending for registration, with 394 pending for more than 20 days, the BIS website said. It did not say how many were from Chinese companies.

A BIS official, on condition of anonymity, said additional checks were being made in consultation with several ministries before clearing any applications.

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