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Resistance To Chinese Goods Will Help Boost Japanese and Korean Brand Sales In India

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As consumer sentiment runs high amid growing chorus for boycotting Chinese goods in the country, the fluid market situation offers new opportunities for various consumer electronic goods, home appliance and smartphone makers, especially Japanese, South Korean and US ones like Pansonic, Samsung, Apple, Nokia, Asus, and others, to realign their strategies and regain the lost market share in the face of fierce Chinese competition.

The challenge here would be not to look “opportunistic” and leverage the current explosive situation on just riding on the anti-Chinese sentiment but to offer real challenges in the form of top-end devices with solid internals at affordable price points, feel industry experts.

“The current market conditions in India are fluid and open up new opportunities for home appliance segment and smartphone original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to focus and leverage,” Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group, CyberMedia Research (CMR), told IANS.

In the home appliance segment, local electronics shop owners could rescind their contracts on Chinese imports of TV, refrigerator, AC, and other home appliances, as they look for local and other alternatives amid the growing momentum to boycott Chinese goods. This would attract contracts for companies like Pansonic, Samsung, and other non-Chinese consumer electronics manufacturers.  On the other hand, local manufacturers import a small proportion of its components and some accessories from China. These companies are currently saucing for local partners who will supply such goods to the chain at competitive prices.

In the smartphone segment, in the first quarter (January-March) this year, Samsung’s shipments were driven by its upgraded A and M series (A51, A20s, A30s, and M30s). According to Counterpoint Research, Samsung managed to hold the third position in Q1 2020 due to launches across several price tiers, especially in the affordable premium segment (S10 Lite, Note 10 Lite). The South Korean smartphone maker last week announced a Rs 4,000 price drop on its popular Galaxy Note10 Lite smartphone that will now cost Rs 37,999 (6GB variant).

On the other hand, Apple grew a strong 78 percent YoY driven by strong shipments of iPhone 11 and multiple discounts on platforms like Flipkart and Amazon in Q1, according to Counterpoint. Apple has also brought its cheapest yet powerful new iPhone SE that costs Rs 38,900 (64GB) in India with a special offer from HDFC Bank. The new iPhone SE is powered by the Apple-designed A13 Bionic, the fastest chip in a smartphone, and features the best single-camera system ever in an iPhone. According to Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint Research, consumer sentiments are running high and a section of users will look for alternatives, benefitting global and Indian brands.

It is improbable for India to wean off from Chinese imports as the country’s consumer market is flooded with Chinese goods. Several large companies spanning electronics and mobile phone makers sell goods that are either fully made-in-China or source Chinese components. However, under current circumstances, it is the aptest time for Japanese and Korean brands to regain and replace the dominant Chinese presence.


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