[News] Interim CEO and CFO of Vivo India Company, Among Other Executives, Arrested

Recently, as Indian media cited anonymous sources, that the Indian law enforcement agency arrested three executives of Vivo India Company on charges of alleged involvement in a money laundering case.

As per The Times of India, the individuals arrested by the Indian law enforcement agency in this case are Hong Xuquan, the interim CEO of vivo India, along with Harinder Dahiya, the CFO of Vivo India, and the company consultant Hemant Munjal.

The three have been taken into custody under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Reportedly, an ED spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for a comment. Furthermore, the Vivo employees is said to be appear in court on December 26.

Vivo spokesperson has responded accordingly that, “We are deeply alarmed by the current action of the authorities. The recent arrests demonstrate continued harassment and as such induce an environment of uncertainty amongst the wider industry landscape. We are resolute in using all legal avenues to address and challenge these accusations.”

According to The Times of India, in October of this year, the Indian law enforcement agency arrested four individuals, including Vivo’s chartered accountant Nitin Garg.

The report further states that from 2014 to the present, Vivo India has been allegedly probing suspicious transactions, which were remitted by the company to China from Rs 1.25 lakh crore of receipts from its Indian operations since 2014

“Various Chinese nationals have been traveling across India, including sensitive places of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, in gross violation of Indian visa conditions.” the agency added.

Previously, as per  Hindustan Times, the Indian government banned numerous Chinese apps, accusing them of being “prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the state and public order.” Since June 2020, more than 200 Chinese apps, including popular ones such as TikTok, WeChat, and UC Browser, have been banned.

The government has also stated in its parliament indicating that, Chinese smartphone makers, including Xiaomi, Realme, Oppo, and Vivo, have been found evading taxes to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore in India.

(Photo credit: Vivo)

Please note that this article cites information from Hindustan Times and The Times of India


[News] China Lost 180 Million Orders from the Rise of India’s Mobile Phones Manufacturing

Source to China Times, as India continues to solidify its position in the global mobile phone manufacturing supply chain, industry analysts predict significant shifts in production dynamics. Apple, for instance, is expected to move 25% of its production to India by 2025, in addition to Chinese brands like Xiaomi, OPPO, and vivo, which have already established manufacturing operations in the country. This trend has led to a scenario where India has substantially reduced its reliance on importing mobile phones from China, posing a substantial challenge to Chinese smartphone manufacturers and potentially resulting in the loss of annual orders for up to 180 million devices.

TrendForce believes that while Apple has such plans in place, the actual execution and achievement of these goals may face challenges.

The typical process of an iPhone involves design work at Apple’s headquarters in the United States, the use of main chips from American chip manufacturers and foundry services from TSMC, key components supplied by companies in Japan and South Korea, and the provision of remaining parts by Chinese manufacturers. The final assembly takes place at Foxconn’s factory in Zhengzhou, China, before the phones are air-shipped to destinations worldwide.

Since September of the previous year, an increasing number of consumers have noticed the label “Assembled in India” on the packaging of their iPhone 14 devices. This indicates that a growing proportion of Apple’s phones are being produced in India. Apple’s plan to shift 25% of its production to India by 2025 aligns with this trend.

Meanwhile, Chinese smartphone manufacturers such as Xiaomi, OPPO, and vivo are also actively manufacturing in India, and Samsung currently produces all of its flagship phones in the country. These developments are reshaping the landscape of mobile phone trade between China and India. In 2014, China exported a staggering 180 million phones to India annually. However, as India’s mobile manufacturing ecosystem matures, its reliance on importing complete phones from China has dwindled.

Data from the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) reveals that, following Indian Prime Minister Modi’s “Make in India” push in 2015, India’s share of globally manufactured phones surged to 11%, surpassing Vietnam and making it the second-largest mobile phone manufacturing country after China. Additionally, statistics show that from 2014 to 2022, India’s cumulative mobile phone production exceeded 2 billion units, with a CAGR growth rate of 23%. (Image credit: Apple)


[News] Mate 60 Went Viral, Huawei May Set to Top 1 in China’s Smartphone Market in September

Source to media China Times, after an extensive promotional campaign, Huawei’s Mate 60 smartphone, which has regained attention in mainland China’s media and online platforms, has finally secured the second position in the Chinese domestic smartphone market for the 36th week (4th~10th, Sep.), with a 17% market share. It is just a 0.2% difference from the top-ranked Honor smartphone. Supply chain sources estimate that by the 37th week (11th~17th, Sep.), Huawei could potentially claim the top spot in market share.

According to reports from “Mydrivers,” Huawei’s smartphone sales have been improving lately, thanks to media and online promotion of the Mate 60. Data from authoritative market research organizations in the supply chain indicates that in week 36 (4th~10th, Sep.), Huawei achieved a 17% market share in smartphone sales, securing the second position in the Chinese smartphone market.

The report notes that although Huawei is ranked second, this achievement in market share comes amidst “well-known significant pressures.” Moreover, it trails only 0.2% behind the top-ranked Honor (17.2%). Supply chain insiders anticipate that by week 37 (11th~17th, Sep.), Huawei is poised to claim the top spot in market share, a remarkable feat considering the significant pressures facing the company.

The report highlights that Huawei’s current sales situation is characterized by a shortage of the entire Mate 60 lineup. Supply chain sources reveal that orders for the Mate 60 Pro have increased to 15-17 million units. Information from distributors indicates that Huawei began comprehensive sales of the Mate 60 Pro in physical stores starting from September 10th.

Analysts had previously expressed optimism about Huawei’s return to the high-end smartphone market in mainland China. The previous Mate50 series achieved sales of approximately 5 million units, and it is expected that the Mate 60 series could surpass 6 million units.

According to TrendForce research on the ranking of 2Q23 smartphone production, in China, Transsion (including TECNO, Infinix, and itel) eclipsed Vivo to secure the fifth spot for the first time ever. TrendFroce reveals that Transsion’s high production output benefited from a trifecta of inventory replenishment, new product launches, and its entry into mid-to-high-end markets. Demonstrating robust production performance since March, the company’s growth trajectory is poised to extend its momentum into Q3. Meanwhile, Vivo (including Vivo and iQoo) is treading cautiously amid a sluggish global economy, which is evident in its conservative production plan: Vivo churned out 23 million units in Q2—a modest quarterly increase of 15%—and as a result, slipped to sixth place in global rankings.

Xiaomi (including Xiaomi, Redmi, and POCO) is reveling in a bountiful Q2, posting production numbers of around 35 million units—a staggering seasonal uptick of 32.1%. This boom can be attributed to a strategic depletion of channel inventory coupled with the allure of new product launches. However, Xiaomi’s channel inventory still runs high, setting the stage for a Q3 that is likely to mirror its Q2 performance. On the other side of the spectrum, Oppo (including Oppo, Real, and OnePlus) also had a fruitful Q2. The brand primarily rode the wave of rebounding demand in Southeast Asia and other regions, amassing approximately 33.6 million units and marking a seasonal leap of 25.4%. With seasonal demands on the horizon, Oppo’s Q3 production is poised for an estimated growth of 10~15%, primarily targeting markets in China, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Latin America, hot on Xiaomi’s heels.

Currently, the top-ranking Honor smartphone is also a Chinese smartphone manufacturer. Originally launched as a sub-brand under Huawei’s product line series in September 2011, it began independent operations on December 16, 2013. Towards the end of 2020, Honor separated from Huawei, and there were multiple rumors about Honor’s independent listing preparations, which the company denied. (Image credit: Huawei)


Labor Costs, Geopolitics, Pandemic, Chinese Mobile Phone Brands Accelerate Deployment of Overseas Production

Chinese smartphone brands such as Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo all have their own production lines. In recent years, these brands have accelerated their overseas deployment due to rising labor costs in China, growing geopolitical risk factors, and the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only will Xiaomi produce mobile phones in Vietnam, but the company will also continue to expand production lines in India and Indonesia in the coming years. OPPO has also set up factories in countries including India, Indonesia, and Turkey to meet the needs of neighboring markets. Vivo has successively set up factories in India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, and initiated its production lines in Turkey and Pakistan in 2021. Since current trends have the Chinese market declining more than the global market, OPPO and Vivo’s proportion of overseas production capacity is expected to increase gradually. As for Xiaomi, which has always been active in overseas markets, the company will continue to expand its production capacity in India and Vietnam.

Xiaomi’s achievements in expanding overseas markets are most outstanding, OPPO following suit, Vivo rushing to catch up

From the perspective of Chinese brands, Xiaomi has been deeply involved in overseas markets for many years. Its overseas revenue was only RMB9.1 billion in 2016, but by 2018, overseas revenue had exceeded RMB70 billion. Xiaomi currently has a market share varying between 10 and 25% in Europe, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. On the other hand, OPPO has been tackling overseas markets aggressively since 2018, and currently has a market share between 10-15% in India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. As for Vivo’s late start, its market share in India, Pakistan, and the Philippines is approximately 10-15%.

If the overall market is divided into the Chinese market and the non-Chinese market, shipments from Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo to the non-Chinese market are estimated to account for 74%, 66%, and 46% of total shipments, respectively, in 2021. Since China’s smartphone shipments may decrease by 16% in 2022, and recovery is limited in the short term, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo are expected to focus more on overseas markets in the future and the proportion of non-Chinese market shipments is expected to increase further.

(Image credit: Pexels)


Lingering Pandemic Vexes Economic Performance, 2022 Smartphone Production Volume Reduced to 1.333 Billion Units, Says TrendForce

According to TrendForce research, global smartphone production volume in 1Q22 was 310 million units, a QoQ decrease of 12.8%, primarily attributed to ongoing inventory adjustments in various distribution channels performed by a number of brands and the cyclical off-season, which led to relatively weak production performance in 1Q22. In 2Q22, a resurgence of the pandemic in the world’s largest consumer market, China, exacerbated the drop in global 2Q22 mobile phone production to 309 million units. However, compared to the same period in 2021, when a resurgent pandemic in India and Southeast Asia caused a sharp drop in total production, mobile phone production grew slightly by 0.7%.

TrendForce further indicates that the war between Russia and Ukraine continues to exacerbate the rising global inflation issue. High inflation means that personal disposable income will shrink and will inevitably lead to prolonged replacement cycles and reduced purchasing budgets for individual devices. Summarizing 2022, corrections in 1H22 were primarily due to the impact of China’s lockdowns on the economy while corrections in 2H22 highlight the inflation crisis. The total production forecast for the entire year will be revised down to 1.333 billion units and there is still room for downward revisions in the future.

Due to China’s economic headwinds, shipments fall again to 283 million, an annual decline of nearly 13%

From a regional perspective, due to China’s insistence on maintaining a strict “dynamic zero-COVID” policy and the recent festering of the pandemic, economic performance is also facing greater downward pressure and the demand for smartphones has likewise cooled in the face of pandemic prevention measures. Overall, the sales market share of China’s smartphone market still ranks first in the world but, due to the impact of the pandemic, its market share has dropped from 24.2% last year to 21.1% this year while the corresponding total shipment forecast fell from 325 million units last year to 283 million units, an annual decline of approximately 12.9%. Although the impact of the pandemic in the remainder of the region has been comparatively blunted, in the face of a rising inflation crisis, even the overpopulated Indian market will be unable to support substantial growth. From the perspective of the 2022 national shipment share ranking forecast, the top three positions will be held by China, India, and the United States, accounting for a 21.1%, 13.1%, and 11.0% share, respectively.

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