Extending the ban against Chinese apps in the country, the central government has now banned the browser made by Chinese handset maker Xiaomi. The ban on ‘Mi Browser Pro – Video Download, Free Fast & Secure’ comes months after a Forbes report accused the handset maker of collecting private web and phone usage data of its users.
Also, Xiaomi’s Mi Community app was previously banned in the country. However, industry experts do not think the latest move would have a direct impact on the smartphone maker.
How the ban on Xiaomi browser will impact the smartphone maker
Talking about Xiaomi’s market performance because of the move, Navkendar Singh, Research Director, Devices and Ecosystem, India and South Asia, IDC, told Times Now on Wednesday: “No it would not impact. No one buys a device in India because of browser or pre-installed apps.”
Echoing similar thoughts, Tarun Pathak Associate Director, Counterpoint Research, told Times Now: “We do not see a direct and immediate impact on Xiaomi devices, but it is critical for the company’s brand image. Xiaomi has been upfront and quite open about certain issues in the past so we assume a similar move for this development as well.”
The industry experts also said that Xiaomi should initiate talks with the government in this front which would also be crucial for the handset maker to communicate to its end users.
“It is possibly an important part of the larger and longer-term non-hardware devices revenue strategy for Xiaomi. It must and will definitely make a representation and try to address the concerns raised by the government,” Singh noted.
“I think yes, Xiaomi is likely to get more clarity from the government, and talks will be good to understand the exact nature of the development which will be important to communicate to its end users,” Pathak added.
When contacted, Xiaomi India said that it follows the local data privacy and security laws. “Xiaomi continues to comply and adhere to all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law. We are working towards understanding the development and will take appropriate measures as required. As part of the process, we will work with key stakeholders for an opportunity to make our submissions,” a Xiaomi spokesperson told Times Now in a statement.
It is pertinent to note that Xiaomi has sold more than 100 million or 10 crore smartphones in India and continues to lead the Indian smartphone market. The handset maker grabbed a market share of 29 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 even as the overall shipments plummeted by more than 50 per cent in the quarter, according to Counterpoint Research.