Chinese brands and celebrities endorsing them run the risk of the anti-China sentiment if they go all out to promote brands in the prevailing environment, executives at celebrity management companies said. But abruptly terminating contracts that run into crores is not the solution, they said.

Although manufacturing facilities in India have been allowed since May to resume operations, several smartphone plants are still grappling with labour shortages making it difficult to meet demand that built up during nearly two months of lockdown when sales of phones were not allowed, the sources said.

Chinese premium smartphone maker OnePlus will establish a fifth-generation (5G) technology lab in India after doubling its R&D employee base here to 600 this year. OnePlus’ Hyderabad research and development centre already helps support 5G smartphones that it makes in India for the North American market.

Chinese company, iQOO is set to enter Indian markets with 5G phones in early February this year, aiming to sell one million units in 2020 through the online channel initially. The company will launch 5G and 4G variants of its latest premium smartphone featuring high-end specifications, said director of marketing at iQOO.

Xiaomi and Samsung increased their respective market shares after the festive season from September till November 2019, while BBK Electronics-led Realme became the only brand which lost significant market share for the same period, according to IDC data.

As per Xiaomi Technology India’s latest regulatory filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC), the company’s total revenue in 2018-19 grew by 54% to Rs 35,426.92 crore as compared to Rs 23,061.11 crore it had clocked in FY18.

BBKs two leading brands - Oppo and Vivo have doubled their combined India revenue between April and September this year to Rs 34,500 crore, according to their latest regulatory filings.

“Motorola lost in the sales channel strategy,” said Counterpoint Technology Market Research associate director Tarun Pathak. “Realme gave a strong competition in the online segment, especially in sub $200 (Rs 14,000) segment where Motorola had its strength. Apart from this, their organisation restructuring also had an impact,” he said.

On a standalone basis, Oppo’s sales went up by 80% at Rs 21,524.6 crore, while Vivo grew by 54% at Rs 17,201.79 crore in 2018-19. BBK Electronics also owns OnePlus and Realme smartphone brands whose India sales for FY19 are still not available. BBK Electronics is still not making money in India with both Oppo and Vivo yet to breakeven.

With the new manufacturing facility at WTC Tech Zone in Greater Noida, the BBK Electronic-owned company now provides employment in manufacturing to 10,000 people. It plans to provide 5,000 new jobs under the phase two of its manufacturing expansion, which will start soon.

The company is also planning to start the next phase of mobile manufacturing expansion from mid-2020 under which it plans to increase headcount by another 5,000 persons but incremental production capacity will depend on market demand prevailing at that time, Vivo India Director for Brand Strategy Nipun Marya told reporters.

Rumours suggest that the TV could probably see the light of the day by the end of 2019.

Plans aim to increase annual capacity 4x to 100 million units

The Chinese company - BBK Electronics, the holding company behind Vivo, Oppo, Realme and OnePlus is close on Xiamis heels.

Net profit jumped to Rs 896.33 crore from Rs 373.38 crore, which the industry attributed to the high margin on the iPhone X and Mac computers.

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