Despite calls for boycott of Chinese goods on Indian social media, the sales of Chinese smartphones are on the rise due to growing acceptance of brands like Vivo, Oppo, Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo, suggests a report in the state-owned media.

Source: Kuni Takahashi/Bloomberg
Source: Kuni Takahashi/Bloomberg

Xiaomi “set a record” by selling more than 1 million smartphones in India from October 1-October 18, the smartphone maker told Global Times on Wednesday.

Xiaomi said it has become the third-largest smartphone vendor in India’s top 30 cities with a market share of 8.4 percent, citing statistics from market research firm IDC.

“India has become our largest market outside of the Chinese mainland… we will be able to capture the largest market share in India within three to five years,” the statement read.

Vivo, another domestic smartphone brand, also aims to expand its business in India, by tripling its monthly production as well as starting online sales.

Data from the in August showed that Chinese smartphone brands accounted for more than 25 per cent of India’s market in terms of shipment by the end of June, up from 19 per cent at the end of 2015.

“As China’s mobile phone market is somewhat saturated, it’s a right choice that domestic brands have started to explore the gigantic Indian market, which is full of opportunities as many people in India still do not own a smartphone. Our brands are looking into the future of India’s mobile phone market,” Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based independent tech expert, told the Global Times.

However, the mobile phone market in India is not a blank canvas, and Chinese smartphone makers have to face competition not only from international mobile phone giants like Apple — which had a market share of about 12 per cent in the Indian market in terms of shipment by the end of June — but also from local Indian mobile phone makers like Lava, Micromax and a variety of smaller brands.

Chinese mobile phones are cheaper than brands like Apple, but they are of high quality, Liu said.

Also, Chinese brands are actively broadening sales channels in India by cooperating with local agencies and communications corporations, helping them broaden market share in the country.

“I believe that sooner or later, a Chinese mobile phone maker will become the largest smart phone seller in India,” Liu noted.