India delays wireless approvals for Chinese-made devices

An image of a pile of mobile phones all on top of each other
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

India has reportedly delayed approvals for Wi-Fi modules from China as it aims to encourage more products to be manufactured domestically.

This has caused companies like Dell, HP, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and Lenovo to delay product launches in the region, according to Reuters.

The delayed devices include bluetooth speakers, wireless earphones, smartphones, and laptops, two industry sources told the publication.

The Communications Ministry’s Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) Wing has apparently withheld approval for the Wi-Fi modules since last November, with over 80 applications made by US, Chinese, and South Korean firms on hold since then.

"The government's idea is to push companies to manufacture these products in India," one of the sources said to Reuters.

"But tech companies are caught in a difficult situation - making in India would mean big-ticket investments and a long wait for returns, on the other hand, the government-imposed hurdle on imports means a potential loss of revenues."

The government previously allowed companies to declare wireless equipment themselves, but new rules were brought in March 2019 which meant government approval was needed.


Go further with mobile marketing

Easy steps to get your mobile strategy up-to-speed


This comes after the Indian government approved permissions for 5G trials to be launched in the country this week. Noticeably, Chinese firm Huawei was excluded from the trials.

A source told Reuters that once 5G deployments start in the country, it's likely that the government will block Huawei’s telecoms equipment from being used.

Moreover, one of India’s telco giants, Reliance Jio Infocomm, will be conducting trials using its own locally sourced technology, while other equipment from European and South Korean manufacturers like Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung will be utilised as well.

Zach Marzouk

Zach Marzouk is a former ITPro, CloudPro, and ChannelPro staff writer, covering topics like security, privacy, worker rights, and startups, primarily in the Asia Pacific and the US regions. Zach joined ITPro in 2017 where he was introduced to the world of B2B technology as a junior staff writer, before he returned to Argentina in 2018, working in communications and as a copywriter. In 2021, he made his way back to ITPro as a staff writer during the pandemic, before joining the world of freelance in 2022.