(Last Updated On: September 24, 2016)

Chinese telecommunication major Huawei said it will manufacture smartphones in India starting next month in partnership with U.S.-based Flextronics or Flex.

Starting from first week of October, Huawei’s Honor series of smartphones will be made at Flex manufacturing plant in Chennai with a capacity to make three million units by the end of 2017.

The project is likely to generate employment for 1,500 people.

“This is the 40th mobile manufacturing unit in the country in the last two years,” IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said while inaugurating the facility. “We are working towards making India an electronic manufacturing hub. As India is set to become the second largest smartphone market, our government would like to invite even more businesses to come and manufacture in India.”

Growing market

The smartphone landscape in India is growing every day and such initiatives by technology leaders will help accelerate the growth of local manufacturing industry in India, he said.

Flex, which is a strategic partner globally for Huawei, also makes smartphones for Lenovo and Motorola brands in India.

 Huawei India CEO Jay Chen said India is a very important market for Huawei and the company has renewed its focus on India working with two brands, Huawei and Honor. “We have been present in India for the last 16 years and as part of our India focus, we have been consistently expanding our footprint in the market,” he said.

Sales services

The phone maker said it will also be strengthening its after sales services in India by taking the number of services centres to over 200, including 30 exclusive Huawei service centres. It is also looking at expanding its distribution network by partnering with 50,000 retail outlets by the end of 2016.

“This retail network will add to the existing over 350 distributors in India,” according to the company.

Last year China’s Xiaomi Inc along with Taiwan-based electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn set up shop to assemble phones in India. India smartphone market grew 23 per cent in the first quarter of 2016, surpassing the U.S. to become the second largest country in terms of users, even as sales remained flat globally, research firm Counterpoint had said in a report in May.

There is a massive opportunity for every player in the mobile value chain when the second largest market by volume is still under penetrated and growing, while the rest of the world smartphone demand has waned, according to the research firm.

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