After Apple, LeEco seeks exemption from 30% local sourcing norm for retail stores

After launching several smartphones in India, LeEco is on the verge of opening their own exclusive retail stores in India. However, the Government of India’s tough rules like compulsory sourcing of 30 percent of products locally for opening single-brand retail stores is making the Chinese smartphone maker difficult to start operations here.

Confirming the development, Atul Jain, chief operating officer, LeEco India revealed that the company had applied for exemption from 30 percent local sourcing norm but we are yet to hear from the government sources. Jain said that the exemption is necessary to begin LeEco exclusive brand outlets in India. He further stated that it is up to the Government to decide on the matter and we are not sure about the current status of our application.

Recently, Apple’s application to seek exemption from 30 percent norm was turned down by the Finance Ministry, despite a panel appointed by the Government suggested that the company should be provided an exemption from these norms. However, the commerce ministry is currently negotiating with finance ministry officials for reconsidering Apple’s application.

Interestingly, Xiaomi had submitted a similar application for exempting them from 30 percent rule but they subsequently withdrew it since the company decided to manufacture smartphones in India itself under ‘Make in India’¬†initiative.

Responding to media soon after the #2Future launch event, Jain disclosed that the current norms should not be applied to the company since their high-end products are designed and developed using premium materials. Even though we can manufacture phones and TVs locally, we have to find a suitable place and require a productive environment to work upon.

He also said that the company is planning to open its own manufacturing facility in India under Make in India initiative either via third-party manufacturing or Greenfield ventures. The company is working on the future course of action in such way that the quality of the products is not compromised. However, he declined to reveal any further information and only said that it would happen in the next 2 to 3 months.

During the #2Future launch event, LeEco unveiled it’s flagship Le 2 and Le Max smartphones including rolling out of its exclusive e-commerce platform LeMall. LeEco Le 2 features a 5.5-inch IPS display, Snapdragon 652 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, 16MP/8MP camera and a 3000mAh battery. However, the premium Le Max 2 is equipped with a 5.7-inch display and 21MP/8MP camera.

Regarding pricing, the Le 2 will be available for Rs. 11,999 and Le Max 2 from Rs. 22,999 for 32GB. Although LeEco announced that the registrations for the flash sale will start from June 13, there is no confirmation about the sale date.

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