China’s TCL plans to set up factories in Brazil and India next year to avoid high import duties as its sales expand in these fast-growing markets, Reuters said.
The company didn’t say how much it would invest nor where they would be built.
Rival Xiaomi announced last week it plans to start production in the next 12 to 18 months in India, which it described as a “hugely important” market and its biggest market outside China.
TCL announced at Mobile World Congress that it aims to boost production of its Alcatel OneTouch handsets by 30 per cent, with the aim of becoming one of the world’s three largest handset manufacturers.
Unlike its domestic competitors, Alcatel OneTouch’s growth has come from outside its home base of China, where it has a market share of below 10 per cent.
The company’s handset unit, TCL Communications, posted 60 per cent revenue growth last year, with handset shipments increasing about 50 per cent. Last year it was the seventh-largest handset maker, according to Gartner.
Alcatel OneTouch has focused on Latin America and Eastern Europe, and claims to be the number two player in Russia. It also has built up market share in the US through carrier partnerships.
TCL Communication also markets wearable computing devices under the TCL OneTouch brand.