With the objective of increasing the manufacturing of electronic devices in the country, the union government has announced restrictions on the import of such items. In a notification dated 3rd August issued by The Directorate General of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the govt restricted the import of laptops, tablets, other personal computers and servers with immediate effect.
Social Media Conspiracy Theories
Following this announcement, some social media users, who seem to believe in Rahul Gandhi’s allegation that everything that the Modi government does is done to benefit some industrialists, started to peddle a conspiracy theory on social media. They tried to link with the recent launch of JioBook by Reliance Retail, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, which was announced on 31st July.
One such tweet by ‘financial influencer’ Neha Nagar said, “Aug. 1: Jio launched their laptop “Jiobook” at 16,499 Aug. 3: Govt restricted the import of laptops, tablets, and computers. Aap chronology samajhiye”. It is notable that Neha Nagar was recognised as a Cultural Brand Ambassador by the Union Ministry of Culture in August last year.
JioBook Made in China
These social media users assumed that JioBook is made in India, and therefore it will benefit from the recent decision. One Twitter user claimed that govt of India is not even hiding its alleged support for JioBook.
- The Amazon page for JioBook shows that the device is made by Chinese company Hunan Greatwall Computer System Co. Ltd at its plant in Zhuzhou in Hunan Province.
- Other e-commerce sites and Gadgetnow also mention that it is made in China.
- JioBook is not made in India, it is actually made in China.
Impact on JioBook
This means that decision to restrict the import of computers will also impact JioBook. Moreover, while the govt order gives exemptions to laptops and other computers for specific purposes, like R&D, testing, product development etc, it is unlikely that JioBooks will be imported by anyone for these purposes.
Effect on Indian Manufacturers
Therefore, after imported computers become unavailable in India, it will not result in an increase in sales of JioBook, even if it is made in India. This will benefit companies that already make computes in India, including both Indian companies and MNCs.
- Several global majors like Dell, HP, Acer, Lenovo etc already manufacture laptops and other computers in India.
- Reliance will have to find an Indian manufacturer for JioBook, and till then they can’t sell the devices.
- Apple will also be affected as it does not make Macbooks and iPads in India.