OnePlus and Realme will continue to sell and manufacture smartphones even as they wind up the television business in India
Despite investing heavily, OnePlus and Realme are looking to exit the TV business at a time when Indian authorities are tightening the regulatory noose around Chinese companies
IDC estimates that 45 Lakh smart televisions were shipped to India in H1 2023 on the back of high ecommerce sales and multiple new launches
Chinese electronics giants OnePlus and Realme have reportedly pulled the plug on sales and production of smart televisions in India.
The companies will continue to sell and manufacture smartphones even as they wind up the television business in India, The Times of India reported citing sources.
“OnePlus and Realme have decided to move out of the television category, even though they continue to operate in the smartphone business,” a source was quoted as saying.
The development comes as a surprise as both firms were previously looking to scale up presence in the television category. As per the report, both OnePlus and Realme have invested heavily in building sales channels and branding to cater to the growing demand for smart TVs in the country.
The decision also comes at a time when sales have picked up pace in recent years owing to affordable smart TV offerings of companies. Cheap internet rates and the rise of streaming platforms have also fuelled the sales of TVs in the country.
The likely exit of OnePlus and Realme comes as competitor and fellow Chinese giant Xiaomi continues to ramp up operations and lead the smart TV category in the country.
While there is no clarity on what prompted the departure, the ongoing regulatory heat on Chinese companies in India could be a likely reason. A slew of smartphone companies from Vivo to Oppo are under investigation for flouting anti-money laundering norms and alleged tax evasion to the tune of crores of rupees.
The geopolitical tensions between New Delhi and Beijing has led to Chinese companies, such as Xiaomi, exiting many of their investments over the past one year. On the other hand, Indian authorities have also been poaching global manufacturing giants including Apple and Google from China through production-linked-incentives (PLIs) to set up production units in the country.
The TV market continues to be a hotly contested space and comprises both legacy and new-age players such as LG, Samsung, Sony, Xiaomi, TCL, Vu, and Thomson.
As per Counterpoint, Xiaomi, Samsung and OnePlus were the top players in the Indian smart TV market in the first half (H1) of 2023. While OnePlus was one of the fastest growing brands in the segment, Xiaomi accounted for the lion’s share of the sales during the period.
The International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that 45 Lakh smart televisions were shipped to India in the first six months of 2023, up 8% year-on-year (YoY) on the back of high ecommerce sales and multiple new launches.