India to ban replica handsets from China - Mobile World Live

India to ban replica handsets from China

22 OCT 2009

The Financial Times reported that India is to block millions of cheap copy-cat Chinese mobile phones and accessories from flooding the market. The handset industry describes them as “time bombs” for their often dangerously poor quality, such as exploding batteries.

The Indian Cellular Association (ICA), the lobby group representing Nokia and other large handset makers in the country, stressed that such phones do not have an “international mobile equipment identity” number, which is a standard component of legitimate phones to prevent their use by terrorists or other illegal groups. The ICA estimates that of the 4 million to 5 million handsets imported into India each month from China, between a million and 1.5 million are cheap replicas. India is the recipient of about 40 percent of China’s replica phone output.

The FT pointed out that Nokia has set up its largest manufacturing facility in the world by employee numbers in Chennai, southern India, with 8,000 people. Mobile handset sales in India in the fiscal year ending in March were worth Rs259bn (USD5.3bn), up 7.9 percent year-on-year. Nokia accounted for about two-thirds of the market.

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