Apple won’t set up stores in India without exemption the 30% domestic sourcing norm

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Apple will not be opening its single brand retail stores in India if the company is not exempted from domestic sourcing regulations according to media reports. When Tim Cook visited PM Narendra Modi in May this year, the two reportedly discussed manufacturing in India and Apple opening up its iconic stores in India. Apple has no plans to manufacture devices in the country, or source components from local vendors, sources told Economic Times. This means that the DIPP and Apple are at an impasse, and Apple will not be opening up its retail stores in India.

In April this year, Apple made a move towards opening up their single brand retail stores in India. Apple sought exemption of the 30 per cent domestic sourcing norm. Apple representatives gave a presentation to a committee from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

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The representatives sought exemption of local sourcing on the grounds that Apple introduces state of the art and cutting edge technologies to India. In May, DIPP representatives said that there was “nothing to show that Apple’s technology is cutting edge”. The exemption was not granted, and Apple’s failed to get the waiver.

This was the second time in the span of a few months that Apple’s efforts hit a roadblock. They had to resubmit an application after the DIPP stalled processing the request, seekingmore information from Apple. During one of the interactions betwen the DIPP and Apple, Apple was quizzed about its plans for introducing refurbished phones in India.  Apple had been intending to sell refurbished phones in India, but those plans too, were blocked by the government. Apart from Apple, other manufacturers who had requested for exemption from the domestic sourcing norms included LeEco and Xiaomi. Xiaomi has however, just withdrawn its application for the exemption.

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