India’s decision to impose a licensing requirement for imports of laptops, tablets, and personal computers will boost domestic manufacturing and ensure its tech ecosystem uses verified systems only, its deputy IT minister said on Friday.
Current regulations in India allow companies to import laptops freely, but the new rule mandates a special license for these products similar to restrictions India imposed in 2020 for inbound TV shipments.
The government in its notification on Thursday gave no reason for the move, which could affect technology companies such as Apple, Dell, and Samsung and force them to boost local manufacturing.
Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on the X social media platform, formerly known as Twitter, that “it is the government’s objective to ensure trusted hardware and systems”, reduce dependence on imports and increase domestic manufacturing of such products.
The move is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” plan, which promotes local manufacturing and discourages imports.
Besides boosting local manufacturing, the move is aimed at curbing supplies from China, as it has security concerns regarding such products, a government source told Reuters.
The new rule will ensure India’s tech eco-system uses “trusted and verified systems only that are imported and/or domestically manufactured trusted systems/products,” Chandrasekhar added.
Apple, Dell, and Samsung have not responded to requests for comment.
© Thomson Reuters 2023