Don't ignore vandalism, take action, industry association tells smartphone makers

Some smartphone manufacturers have reported that protesters armed with iron roads, sticks staged protests at their facilities and caused obstruction.
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Following reports of vandalism and protests outside smartphone factories and retails stores in India amid calls for boycotting Chinese goods, industry body India Cellular & Electronics Association (ICEA) has asked smartphone makers not to ignore such incidents.

The advisory was issued after as many as 30 people from the Hindu Raksha Dal, a right-wing outfit, were booked under multiple sections of Indian Penal Code and Epidemic Diseases Act after they put a lock on the main gate of OPPO's manufacturing unit in Greater Noida last week.

ICEA represents mobile and component manufacturers such as Motorola, Xiaomi, OPPO, Nokia, Foxconn, Apple, Wistron, Flextronics, Lava, Vivo and others.

"It has been brought to our notice by some of our members that in the past few days certain fringe elements have staged unlawful protests/ demonstrations/ mob gathering at or outside the factory complexes/workplace/offices/retail-stores/points of purchase of our members," ICEA told its members in a letter on Thursday.

Some smartphone manufacturers have reported that protesters armed with iron roads, sticks staged protests at their facilities and caused obstruction in ingress/egress.

"There have also been sporadic incidents which have been brought to our notice pertaining to targeted vandalism of signboards and billboards of brands of member companies of country of a certain origin," ICEA said.

The industry body asked its members to take appropriate and timely action so as to ensure that "the persons/group involved be brought to books, dealt sternly within the confines of law."

Earlier this week, the All India Mobile Retailers Association requested the Chinese mobile phone brands to "allow retailers to cover these signages with cloth/flex or to remove the boards from the storefront for a few months".

The ICEA also shot a letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman this week, saying that all China-origin imports of the electronics industry have come under adverse action by customs at the ports without prior warning, which has impacted the supply chain.

In the letter to the Finance Minister, Pankaj Mohindroo, Chairman of ICEA said that they understand that even goods already cleared and loaded in trucks for transport to the users' warehouse are being recalled and examined.

"Opening up finished products for full examination will soil them, making it impossible to sell in the market. This will lead to millions of dollars of losses, a shortage in the market and spook large foreign investors," he wrote.

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