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China’s OPPO to set up India handset assembly unit by Aug

Chinese phone vendor OPPO on Wednesday said it plans to set up its own-brand handsets assembly unit in India by August this year to tap the burgeoning demand for smartphones in the country. “India is a top priority market for us. We are in the process of exploring the options available and will soon close in on the possibilities to initiate the unit at the earliest,” OPPO Mobiles India CEO Tom Lu said.

OPPO will focus on setting up a state of the art facility to manufacture smartphones for the Indian audience as well as key markets overseas, he added. However, no financial details were disclosed. Many handset makers, including the likes of Xiaomi, Coolpad and <g data-gr-id="28">Gionee</g> are exploring options to set up manufacturing facilities in India, especially after the government’s Make in India initiative that aims to promote domestic manufacturing.

According to research firm CyberMedia Research, 53 million mobile handsets were shipped to India in the January-March 2015 quarter, with 19.5 million or about 37 <g data-gr-id="27">per cent</g> of these being smartphones. OPPO had entered the Indian market, one of the world’s largest smartphone markets globally, in January last year and has launched over 10 devices here.

The company is also speeding up sales and service network and claims to have sold around 400,000 devices in India. It is now targetting sales of 1.5 million units in 2015. “(Year) 2015 will be a year of expansion for us. We are already among the ‘top three’ players in Indonesia, with more than 11 <g data-gr-id="26">per cent</g> market share. Similarly, we have 13 per cent in Vietnam and almost 11 per cent in Malaysia. Globally, we plan to sell more that 15 million units this year,” OPPO Vice President Sky Li said.

The smartphone boom in India indicates the time is just right to focus on expansion plans and increasing volume in India to a comparable level with the China market in the next five years, he added. OPPO India also plans to expand its network of service centres in the country this year as well as add new products to strengthen its presence in the country. 
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