Update (April 17): Added statement from Honor
After the Home Ministry relaxed lockdown restrictions for e-commerce portals, Realme, Xiaomi and Vivo are now in talks with Flipkart and Amazon to restart online sales from April 2020.
This development comes just a day after the government eased down rules for e-commerce vehicles to ply with “necessary permissions”. And while the earlier guidelines clearly referred to essential goods, the new guidelines released on Wednesday are devoid of any such classification of essential and non-essential items raising some confusion among online retailers. In any case, delivery vans of the e-commerce companies will need permission from authorities to ply on roads.
“We will start our online sales for smartphones and audio accessories products from April 20 through our online partner Flipkart and Realme.com. These products are very important to stay connected. We are trying to get clarity from state governments for our online sales,” Realme’s vice president and India CEO Madhav Sheth told ET.
Similarly, a Xiaomi spokesperson said that details are being discussed with retail partners and an update will be shared soon. Vivo has also not been completely positive that sales will begin but discussions are ongoing.
There have still not been any updates from Oppo, OnePlus, and Samsung regarding the same. Online sales stand to gain revenues as much of the offline retail sector remains closed, however, the initial demand will come from buyers that have an urgent need driven by defects, repairs or other factors.
Update (April 17): Honor’s statement
In a press release, Honor has welcomed the move from the government allowing smartphone sales to resume from April 20 on e-commerce platforms. The company also reiterated that it has not hiked prices of its smartphones post the GST increase. last month.