This comes after retail stores in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Agra, Jabalpur, among others, saw instances of vandalism and threats to remove branding of Xiaomi and other Chinese brands.

Xiaomi changes branding of its stores
Atom Tech Shorts Thursday, June 25, 2020 - 20:14

Chinese smartphone major, Xiaomi has begun covering branding on its retail stores with a ‘Made in India’ logo in white. This comes after 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.

After the death of 20 Indian soldiers in a border standoff on June 15 in Ladakh's Galwan valley, the anti-China sentiment in India has been growing rapidly.

Arvinder Khurana, National President of All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA), says that in several instances the hoardings of Xiaomi and Vivo were torn down by protestors.

Following this, AIMRA 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".

"We sent the letter to ensure safety and security of our members and their stores. We have seen a little aggression in the marketplaces," Khurana said, adding that certain organisations have given retailers one-week time to remove Chinese branding from their stores.

"We thought this could be a threat in the coming time if the aggression goes up. We are worried about the safety of retailers. What will happen if stores are set on fire, or if items of the stores are stolen or the retailers suffer physical injury?" he said.

Damage to the boards displaying Chinese branding should not be the retailer's liability, he added.

A letter was sent to OPPO, Vivo, OnePlus, Motorola, Realme, Lenovo and Huawei to remove boards from the store front.

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This comes even as Xiaomi India Managing Director Manu Kumar Jain has reiterated that Xiaomi is more Indian than any other technology brand.

In an interview to news channel CNBC-TV18 last week, Jain said that anti-China sentiment was limited mainly to social media and it had not impacted Xiaomi's business in the country.

Jain said that Xiaomi does research and development in India, has manufacturing plants in the country and a large part of the leadership team comprises Indians.

According to Jain, Xiaomi sources 65% of its components from India and employs over 50,000 Indians.

“There are technology companies in US whose phones are made in China. There are so-called Indian companies who buy phones from China and rebrand them as Indian. Our phones made in India, most of our TVs, power banks made in India. Even the components are locally sourced. We are more Indian than most of them,” Jain told CNBC-TV18.

He believes that this is more of a social media sentiment and is not likely to translate into an impact on sales.  

With IANS inputs

Image and video credits: AIMRA

Also read: Will the call to boycott China impact funding for Indian startups?

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