New Delhi’s TV sets restriction order takes aim at Chinese firms

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New Delhi’s TV sets restriction order takes aim at Chinese firms

2020-08-03

Source: Global Times    Published: 2020-08-03


Color televisions became the latest victim of the Indian government's bid to remove Chinese business from Indian market, following restrictions on Chinese apps and contractors.


But Chinese manufacturers said they have not felt any impact yet, and there have not been any disruptions to their delivery of color television sets.


According to the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) of India, the import policy of color televisions have shifted from "free" to "restricted category", which means that firms will have to seek an import license from the Indian government before importing color TVs.


The main purpose of this move is to "check [the] influx of Chinese TVs," according to a report by The Hindustan Times.


The impacts of the restrictions have not been felt by the Chinese manufacturers of color television sets, most of which are located in South China's Guangdong Province.


"We have not heard about any update or change in our export schedule with our Indian clients," a sales manager from Guangzhou Pakcai Electronics Co. told the Global Times Sunday. The company's major exports to India include 40 and 42 inch television sets, both of which are listed under the restricted import category.


Dongguan Shipai Xintao Electronics, another company located in Guangdong Province, told the Global Times that the Indian government has required that a license from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) be held by Chinese TV exporters, but so far he hasn't heard of any plans to apply for the new license from his partners in India.


The move follows an array of new policies against Chinese businesses in India. At the end of June, the Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok and Wechat, which are very popular in the Indian market. In early July, India also barred Chinese contractors from participating in highway projects in India, by not granting permission to any joint venture that includes Chinese partners.


Faced with a shrinking economy due to the coronavirus pandemic, the restriction might further slow Indian's economy, experts said. The International Monetary Fund predicts a contraction of as much as 4.5 percent in 2020.


"Despite the government's recent initiative to develop India's local manufacturing industry, it still relies heavily on imports of electronic devices," said Long Xingchun, president of the Chengdu Institute of World Affairs.


China is an important exporter of color television sets to India. According to local media reports, over 36 percent of India's television sets are imported from China and Southeast Asia.


As of March 31 this year, India has imported around $781 million worth of color TV sets, mainly from Vietnam and China, of which imports from China amounted to $293 million.


Long Xingchun is a visiting research fellow with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of Renmin University of China.