Heavy import duties imposed by the Indian government mean that in-country manufacturing is now a more attractive prospect on the sub-continent

Chinese tech giants Huawei and ZTE are both looking to increase their manufacturing capabilities in India, according to reports in the Indian press.

The Economic Times of India reported that the Chinese network equipment and smartphone producers were exploring strategies to increase production levels on the sub-continent, with Swedish kit manufacturer Ericsson also believed to be interested in increasing the scope of its Indian operations.

“We are carefully looking at the feasibility of local manufacturing. This is also a subset of our discussions with the Indian authorities,” Xiao Ming, president of ZTE Global Sales, told reporters at the Economic Times of India.

“This is still in the very early stages. We are seeing the Indian government’s ambitions which are positive, that’s why we are seriously considering mobile manufacturing.”

Huawei is keen to restart production at its special economic zone facility in Chennai, which ceased last year, due to low demand. Huawei is keen to recommence production in-country as the Indian government has recently proposed a new 20 per cent customs duty to be paid on imports.

“We are thinking about a new plant for carrier business and enterprise. We are closely working with HQ for the new plant. We recently met people in Chennai. We understand the Make in India project,” Jay Chen, chief executive officer at Huawei India, told the Economic Times of India.

Indian telcos are ramping up their preparations for 5G rollout, meaning that demand for Huawei and ZTE’s network infrastructure products is set to spiral in India.

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