Huawei said it will start manufacturing phones in India in 2019, local media Times of India reports. Neither Huawei or the report has specified particular models that would be produced locally.

Prior to the new manufacturing plan, in 2016, Huawei established a mobile phone manufacturing partnership with local company Flex India, to produce Honor series with lower costs, and to send out a supporting gesture to the Indian government’s “Made in India” strategy. Before the 2016 tie-up, Huawei had already been in India for 16 years.

In addition, Huawei is hoping to deepen cooperation with Foxconn, Apple’s production partner, for phone manufacturing in India.

The 2019 manufacturing plan is very likely referring to Huawei’s own manufacturing force for premium and flag ship models, which is a Huawei production rule in China.

Jim Xu, Huawei’s Global Vice President for the consumer business group, said in an interview with Times of India that the company intends to grow its presence in a “tough and competitive” Indian market through the “launch of devices in the mid-and premium-end of the market.”

The strategy signals an approach different from Huawei’s Chinese peers Vivo, Oppo, and Xiaomi who are heavily relying on the low-and mid-end smart devices market. With sub-brand Honor having achieved a general 400% growth regarding sales revenues and aiming to be the number 1 of its kind in India by 2021, Huawei is now taking more market share in the premium segment.

The company unveiled the latest model Mate 20 series in London on October 17.  The Mate 20 Pro is available for order at EUR 1049 ($1201.3 ), which is over INR 88,000, whereas as a basic OnePlus 6T is priced at INR 37,999. Huawei said that India would be the second destination of Mate 20 series after the London showcase.

Huawei also plans to spend about $100 million in the Indian market. In the coming 2-3 years, 1,000 offline shops will be set up as a supplement for the company’s development in the country.

Before Apple launched their new smartphones, Huawei surpassed Apple as the world’s second largest smartphone manufacturer in terms of the global total shipment calculated by the second quarter of the year

Runhua Zhao is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Connect with her via email:

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