Oppo, Vivo send Chinese expats home over decline in sales, Doklam row

Over 400 Chinese expats working at Oppo and Vivo have been asked to go back home after a sharp decline in July and August smartphone sales, along with rise in anti-China sentiments over Doklam standoff, the Economic Times reported on Monday.  

According to the financial daily, many of the exits are from the 30 Chinese-owned distribution companies at these two smartphone brands. However, citing four industry executives, the report added that some exits were also possible at Oppo and Vivo's main subsidiaries in the country. The financial daily reported that a high ranking Chinese expat, Vivek Zhang, who had negotiated and signed the Indian Premier League's title sponsorship deal for Vivo, returned to China earlier in August.   

According to a 18 report, Oppo and Vivo saw a drop in the Indian sales of their smartphones for the first time in July this year. Their sales, according to the report, saw a sharp decline of around 30 per cent in July. The decline came even as the country's overall smartphone market grew by approximately eight per cent. According to the ET report, industry executives have cited this year-on-year decline in sales as the reason behind the exits. 

According to the ET report, in wake of the drop in sales, the Chinese parent companies have brought in new faces to counter the anti-China wave in some consumer markets over the Doklam standoff, which was reportedly resolved just today. The report added that Oppo and Vivo have restricted front-office roles for Chinese expats in distribution establishments in certain markets. 

As reported earlier this month, the government has sent notices to 30 smartphone manufacturers seeking details of their security practices as it looks to ensure that every smartphone sold in India is accounted for and the making of all devices have a proper security infrastructure in place. These include Motorola, Asus, Honor, Oneplus,  Coolpad, Infocus, Blu, Oppo, Nubia. Many of these companies, however, said that they had not received the notice yet as on August 21, 2017. 

The government has asked these smartphone companies, the majority of them Chinese manufacturers, to outline the procedures and processes adopted by them to ensure security and privacy of users' data.

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