LeEco is the latest vendor to approach the Indian government to seek an exemption to the mandatory local sourcing norms. For a foreign entity to set up shop in India, the government dictates that at least 30% of the materials be sourced locally. Companies manufacturing state-of-the-art goods are eligible for an exemption, which is what vendors like Xiaomi and Apple have leveraged to get the government to waive off its sourcing norms.
In a statement to the Press Trust of India, LeEco said that it has filed an application with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board for an exemption:
We have also asked the government to give us an exemption on it, on the 30 percent (local sourcing) norm. We haven't heard from them as yet on where the status is. But we believe the application is on right now, so it's really with the government to come back to us.
Many of the phones can be manufactured here, many of the TVs that we will make we will bring into India can be made here but can we do them effectively the way we want, that is a question, so we will still explore that option.
Apple is awaiting final approval from the government, although the company has said that it may consider delaying its plans to open stores in the country should the proposal fall through. The government was initially open to the idea, but later changed tack. Meanwhile, Xiaomi is said to have withdrawn its application.
It'll be interesting to see how LeEco fares in its bid to be exempt from the sourcing norms. The vendor is mulling local manufacturing, with a formal announcement slated in the coming months:
We are at a very advanced stage of doing it and I think in the next 2-3 months, we will be in a position to make a formal announcement. We are looking at both third-party and greenfield ventures.