TCL for reduction of import duty on open cell TV panels

New Delhi, Aug 2: China-based consumer electronics firm TCL Electronics, which is investing Rs 2,000 crore to set up a new manufacturing facility in Tirupati, Friday asked the government to “reconsider the import duty” on open cell television panels.
TCL, which aims to be at the second spot in next three years in the TV segment, said reduction in customs duty would act as “catalyst” for the brands as TCL, which are investing in India and would boost domestic manufacturing under Make-in-India.
“We hope that the government would reconsider the import duty and other cess that are being currently charged,” TCL India Managing Director Mike Chen told .
“This will act as a catalyst for brands like us to fast-track the investment and for introduction of the latest technology in the country,” he added.
At present, imported open cell television panels attract five per cent customs duty.
Companies import television panels in open-cell state, which require further assembling with value addition before being shipped to market for sale.
TCL is presently at fifth position in the Indian TV market and according to GFK data, it had 5.3 per cent market share in June this year.
“We are aiming to be number two player in next three years by 2022,” said Chen adding that the company is growing over threefold every year.
TCL has sold 3.5 lakh units of LED TVs last year and expects to continue the same level of growth.
“In the first half of this year (January-June), we have sold 3.5 lakh units and expect to sell much more than that in the second half as in India, most TV sale happens during the festive season,” he added.
The company is operating in India under two brands –TCL an iFFalcon. The former is primarily for the offline brick and mortar shop and the latter caters the online sales channels as Amazon and Flipkart.
According to him, it is third largest TV brand on Amzaon and is at fourth position on Flipkart platform.
TCL is also expanding its sales network and exclusive brand outlets (EBOs) pan India.
“We presently have 32 EBOs and plan to take the count to 100 by March next year,” he said.
Presently, 46 per cent TVs sold by TCL in India are smart TVs and rest are the normal ones. This is much above than the industry average of 38 per cent smart TVs of the total sales.
The Indian television market, which according to experts is expected to be around 14 million sets, is largely dominated by three players — Samsung, LG and Sony.
As part of expansion plans of its products range, TCL Friday introduced P8 series TV, which is 4k Artificial Intelligence TV propelled by the latest Google-Certified Android Pie (9.0).
P8 model price starts from Rs 27,990.
“The latest product launch underlines TCL’s commitment to introducing innovative and affordable solutions in the Indian market that ushers the users into smart and intelligent living,” said TCL.
Recently, TCL has also introduced a smart range of products with artificial intelligence and internet of things in segments such as washing machine, air conditioner, refrigerator and sound bar and awaiting the market response.