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India is putting an extra license on laptops and tablets that are imported into the country

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The government of India has added a new step, and a new fee, for companies that want to sell imported laptop PCs and and tablets into the country. CNBC reports that on Thursday, companies that want to bring those products into India must purchase a license to do so.

The sudden move has apparently taken some people by surprise. In a post on X (formerly Twitter). Rajeev Chandrasekhar, India’s Union Minister of State for Entrepreneurship, Skill Development, Electronics & Technology, offered some reasons for this decision.

Chandrasekhar stated it was the Indian government's goal to reduce the number of exports of these products, encourage the local manufacturing of such devices, and also "ensure trusted hardware n systems."

He added:

This is not at all abt license raj - It is about regulating imports to ensure trusted and verifiable systems AND ensuring India tech eco-system uses trusted n verified systems only that are imported and/or domestically manufactured trusted systems / products.

This move could hurt sales of these kinds of products from major PC and tablet companies. Indeed, Bloomberg reports that three of those companies (Apple, Samsung, and HP) have decided to halt imports of those devices into India for now.

CNBC quotes Tarun Pathak, an analyst at Counterpoint Research, as saying this move by the Indian government could cause price increases in PCs and laptops while the affected companies either start making these products in India or apply for those licenses. He added:

With the festive season approaching, there might be some disruptions in offers and discounts as well and those couldn’t be as aggressive as last year due to possible demand and supply mismatches.

India is starting to become a major source of tech products. Earlier this year Foxconn announced it will invest $700 million into making a new iPhone plant in India.

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