Anti-China sentiment have again stirred up in the country after the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers in a clash with Chinese army in Ladakh’s Galwan valley on June 15.
All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA) has said that, fearing the retaliation arising out of these Anti-China sentiments Xiaomi has started to put “Made in India” logo in white colour on its retail store brandings.
Xiaomi has taken this action after it received a letter from AIMRA, which has been sent to all the Chinese mobile brands including Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus, Motorola, Realme, Lenovo and Huawei, asking to bring the “ground reality” to their notice. However Xiaomi has declined to make any officially statement on this matter.
It has been reported that anti-china social activists have damaged store signage of Chinese brands in several markets of Agra, Jabalpur, Patna, and Mumbai. Thus to ensure the safety of the members and their stores AIMRA sent that letter requesting all Chinese brands to “allow retailers to cover these signages with cloth/flex or to remove the boards from the storefront for a few months” till these anti-china sentiments die down.
If these aggression further scales up it can become a major threat to the retailers’ safety. AIMRA also states that damages caused to such boards should not be the retailer’s liability as the prevailing situation and circumstances is not in their control.
It has to be noted that even after the MD of Xiaomi India Manu Kumar Jain has asserted in his tweets and interviews that this anti-China sentiment is mainly limited to social media and has not impacted their business, they have taken this step to cover up their store branding with “Made in India” logos.
The statement made by Jain has received several criticism and he has been slammed by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) for hurting the sentiments of millions of Indians by saying that the boycott Chinese sentiment exists only on social media and is a result of “mob mentality”.
However it is true that the sales of such brands has not been impacted much. One of the reason can be that in the wake of COVID-19 people studding and working from home have significantly increased and that has created a pent-up demand for smartphones.
On June 24, Jain tweeted that Xiaomi’s Redmi Note9 Pro Max was out of stock in less than 50 seconds during a sale. Moreover Xiaomi sold over 10 million units from January to March and holds 31.2% of market share, as per IDC.
Jain had also insisted that his company is more Indian than other Indian handset companies. He said that “It makes all of its smartphones and most of its smart TVs here and sourced, on average, 65% of its components locally. It has a completely local leadership, and has generated employment for 50,000 people and 100% of the data of Indian users stays in India.”