Numerous US technology companies have warned of a new measure by which the Indian government is trying to boost the production of local high-tech goods. The administration under Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprisingly decided at the beginning of August to only allow goods such as desktop PCs, notebooks, tablets, servers or components for data centers into the country if they had an explicit import license. As a result, companies like Apple, HP or Samsung stopped introducing new devices. The measure has now been lifted and implementation has been postponed to November – but there is still massive criticism of the idea.
Fear of export slump and problems in the supply chain
In a fire letter to the US government, industry groups such as the Information Technology Industry Council, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Semiconductor Industry Association with member companies such as Apple and Intel commented on the current situation. The letter, seen by financial news agency Bloomberg, told the US Department of Commerce that the Indian government’s move could “significantly disrupt trade, hamper efforts to further integrate India into global supply chains, and hurt businesses and consumers in both countries.” “.
There is also criticism of the suddenness of the measure. The industry representatives call for a “predictable regulatory climate”. This means that the measure could cast doubt on India as a reliable trade and supply chain partner if the free movement of goods is suppressed. The Indian government replies that the licensing regime will be simplified and that it will be possible to obtain them within a day at least. The customs authorities are currently in the process of re-authorizing stopped imports – billions in value are involved.
India: High hopes for Apple
Apple had only recently begun to make further major investments in the production of its devices by contract manufacturers on the subcontinent. It was also announced that the iPhone 15 should also come from India right at the start of production – and no longer just from factories in China as usual. Apple is also said to have almost single-handedly ensured that high-tech exports from India increased by billions of US dollars, since around seven percent of iPhone production now takes place there
At the same time, the group also hopes to conquer India as a new large market. In fact, the business there is growing significantly. To do this, however, Apple must also be able to import its products, which still mostly come from China, as easily as possible in order to then sell them via sales partners or – more recently – its own stores and online channels. A license obligation associated with conditions is very inconvenient here.
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