Apple And Samsung Freeze India Laptop Imports After New Restriction

Apple And Samsung Freeze India Laptop Imports After New Restriction

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Tech giants Samsung and Apple have stopped laptop imports to India, a day after the government imposed restrictions on the import of laptops, tablets, servers and other Personal Computers (PCs) without a license, in an attempt to give a push to local manufacturing, the media has reported. According to a report by news agency Bloomberg, companies are now engaging with New Delhi on how to most quickly obtain licenses ahead of the heightened interest of buyers, with Diwali and the festive season approaching.

The report noted that there is no clarity on how long it would take for Apple and others to get the licenses for import, but the halt is already disrupting a multibillion-dollar trade in foreign PCs at a crucial time. The requirement creates additional headaches for PC and laptop manufacturers that are already reeling under an inventory crisis globally and other few triggers to restart sales growth. It could result in delayed India launches or even product shortages in a market that’s still largely reliant on shipments from overseas.

According to the notice issued by the Centre on restricting the import of laptops, tablets, servers and other Personal Computers (PCs), “Exemption from Import Licencing requirements is provided for Import of 1 All-in-one Personal Computer, or Ultra small form factor Computer, including those purchased from e-commerce portals, through post or courier. Imports shall be subject to payment of duty as applicable.” 

It should be noted that leading laptop and PC maker HP manufactures its HP EliteBooks, ProBooks and mouses in India. Dell signed an agreement last year to expand its notebook production in the country under the PLI scheme. Lenovo, on the other hand, has a PC manufacturing facility in Puducherry. It also locally assembles its tabs in partnership with Wingtech Technology in Andhra Pradesh. 

In a bid to increase local production, India has been providing incentives to companies in recent years. The government’s initiative has successfully given way to a number of prominent smartphone manufacturers to locally assemble/manufacture their devices in India. This is also increasingly piquing the interest of semiconductor manufacturers and chip makers in the country.

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