Chinese telecoms equipment and smartphone vendor Huawei will start producing Honor smartphones in the Indian city of Chennai early next month.
The Shenzhen-based firm said it is partnering with Flex India, a unit of global electronics manufacturer Flextronics International, to manufacture one of its Honor models at the plant in southern India, which will have a capacity of three million units by the end of 2017.
Huawei, the third largest smartphone maker globally in Q2, joins a growing list of device makers looking to set up local production facilities as the Indian government pushes its “Make in India” campaign.
The $16 billion India smartphone market, with only one in four people owning a smartphone, is on track to soon become the second largest in the world after China. It is also an attractive market for Chinese vendors looking for growth outside their home market, which is nearing saturation.
According to the IT Ministry, investors set up 37 handset production units in the country over the past year and created 40,000 direct jobs. Investments have been made by local firms, such as Micromax and Intex, as well as China’s Foxconn, LeEco and others. Annual handset output has nearly doubled to 110 million units.
Apple reportedly recently approached Foxconn, its main supplier and the largest electronics contract manufacturer in the world, about producing iPhones in India within the next two to three years.
Jay Chen, CEO of Huawei India, said the company has been in India for the last 16 years and recently launched its global service centre in Bengaluru. “The start of manufacturing in India is an affirmation of our commitment to India. We are convinced about the growth potential and future of India and we’ll keep looking for opportunities to increase our presence here.”
Huawei said it will strengthen its after-sales service in the county by setting up more than 200 service centres, including 30 exclusive Huawei service centres. It also will expand its distribution network by partnering with about 50,000 retail outlets by the end of the year.