India announced on Thursday that it would demand licenses for the importation of laptops, tablets, and personal computers, a move that may severely hurt companies like Apple, Dell, and Samsung and push them to increase domestic manufacturing.
The new law requires a specific licence for these products, similar to the limitations India set in 2020 for inward TV shipments, despite the fact that current regulations in India permit businesses to import laptops freely.
Industry leaders claimed that a licencing scheme would result in extended wait times at the start of an Indian holiday season, when sales generally increase.
The government did not provide a justification for the decision in its notification, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has been advocating domestic production while opposing imports under “Make in India” scheme.
India’s market for laptops and personal computers is estimated by research firm Counterpoint to be worth $8 billion yearly, with two-thirds of those being imported.
According to economist Madhavi Arora of Emkay Global, the aim appears to be the “substitution of certain goods that are imported heavily.”
Apple, Dell, or Samsung are among the leading laptop vendors in the Indian market, along with Acer, LG Electronics, Lenovo, and HP Inc.
According to a source, orders for shipments will be permitted without permits until August 31.
Contract manufacturers like Dixon Technologies, whose shares increased by more than 7% on the news, are anticipated to gain from the decision.
India has extended the deadline for businesses to submit applications for a $2 billion incentive programme designed to draw investments in the manufacturing of IT hardware.
The programme is essential to India’s goals of dominating the global electronics supply chain by 2026, when it aims to produce $300 billion in annual electronics output.
In the past, the nation has slapped high tariffs on goods like mobile phones to boost domestic output.
According to a second government source, the government initiative is intended to increase domestic manufacturing while also reducing imports from China, which has security reservations about such products.
According to the first government source, the limitation will enable India to import such gear only from “trusted partners”.
China, with whom India’s relations have soured since border conflicts in 2020, ships half of India’s restricted goods. As a result, India has taken many anti-China measures to stifle investment and commerce from India’s neighbour.