Xiaomi puts 'Made in India' branding on its retail stores
As the strong resistance for the Chinese brands going across the country, The smartphone major, Xiaomi has begun covering branding on its retail stores with a ‘Made in India’ logo in white. In a dramatic move there are several retail stores in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Agra, Jabalpur and Patna among others, saw instances of vandalism and retail stores receiving threats to remove branding of Xiaomi and other Chinese brands.
The association had written to Chinese mobile brands to highlight threat of vandalism at stores amid calls for boycotting China products. In our letter, we had requested the brands to allow retailers to cover these signages with cloth/flex or to remove the boards from the storefront for a few months given the situation... Xiaomi has started putting 'Made in India' banners in white colour on its boards," AIMRA National President Arvinder Khurana said.
He added that other companies are yet to take any such steps but are keeping a watch on the situation. However, Xiaomi did not respond to an e-mailed query.
Khurana further said, some anti-social activists recently visited several markets in various parts of the country and threatened to damage the mobile phone stores, and asked them to remove Chinese branding from their outlets.
"This could be a threat to the safety of retailers in case the aggression increases. Damage to the boards displaying Chinese branding should not be the retailer's liability," he said. Asked if these sentiments have affected sales, Khurana said there has been an impact.
"Customers are saying they don't want to be shown Chinese products, and Samsung will benefit from this given that is the only major non-Chinese brand in the country. I think the focus should be on promoting Indian players, maybe provide extra support like the Chinese government gives to its companies," he added.
While mobile phone makers have remained mum, industry executives, not wishing to be identified, have said sales have largely remained unaffected. Chinese firms are keeping a close watch on the developments, and monitoring the situation on ground as well as on social media. Xiaomi India Head Manu Jain has also said the anti-China sentiment was limited mainly to social media and it had not impacted its business in the country.
The experts says, Manu Jain also twitting and posting heavily in his social media, favouring Chinese brands, since he has paid by the companies.