NEW DELHI: Smartphone production worth thousands of crores of rupees at units of Chinese companies such as Oppo, Vivo, Realme and Xiaomi has been badly impacted as disruption in component imports from China — due to strict checks at ports — has squeezed supplies.
The shortage of labour due to the Covid-19 safety protocols has only made matters worse, reducing production to nearly 30-40% of pre-pandemic days. Senior industry executives said Chinese companies have been in a bind as they are unable to fulfil demand despite pending orders.
The companies have been talking to authorities on the matter and primary conversations have been around freeing up consignments at ports. “Most of my time is spent only around resolving (component) supply issues, rather than running factory operations,” a senior executive at a top Chinese phone company told TOI.
Companies said that while supplies seem to be freeing up now with some ease provided at the ports, the situation still remains “uncertain”. “It is very difficult to do business in this scenario as we are not able to have a clear view on future supplies. How do we plan new models, and how do we do sales planning?” another top executive at a large-selling Chinese company said. The executives requested anonymity, considering the growing anti-Chinese sentiment.
Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman of Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), however, said things have started to ease on the front of component supplies, and he expects the production to be around 80% by the month-end. “Moreover, we are putting in a lot of efforts to ensure that there is a larger component ecosystem within the country so that our dependence on imports go down,” Mohindroo said.
The restrictions have also impacted production at non-Chinese companies such as Samsung, and homegrown makers. The factory of Jaina Group, that contract-makes phones for Samsung, Nokia and Xiaomi, has been shut for a few days as availability of parts was hit, chairman Pardeep Jain said.