India's Ministry of Home Affairs has cleared Huawei to manufacture devices locally, making the vendor the first major Chinese manufacturer to establish a base in the country. Although Huawei already manufactures phones in a factory in the state of Tamil Nadu, the handsets are not cleared for sale within India, and are currently exported out of the country. The manufacturing license allows Huawei to sell locally-made products.
Allen Wang, president of Huawei's consumer business in India, said in a statement to Reuters:
India is an important overseas market for Huawei. We aim to become a top three brand in India within three years.
Huawei is betting big on its online-only Honor sub-brand to drive a majority of sales in the country. Handsets like the Honor 4X and the Honor 4C are available for under ₹9,000 ($140), with the mid-tier segment featuring the likes of the Honor 6 Plus, which is on sale currently for ₹24,999 ($395).
With smartphone growth plateauing in China, vendors are increasingly turning their attention to the Indian market. Xiaomi is also said to be interested in setting up a manufacturing facility in India, and Foxconn is mulling 10 to 12 plants in the country by 2020 to manufacture iPhones locally.
It isn't just the Chinese vendors vying for market share in the country, as HTC is slated to launch a mid-range phone exclusively in India. Sony is also rumored to unveil budget phones that will be sold exclusively in the country, with the vendor reortedly considering setting up a manufacturing facility of its own.