Import of mobiles, accessories down 40pc

Kathmandu, March 8

After China halted the supply of goods due to the coronavirus outbreak, import of mobile phones and their accessories have declined by 40 per cent in the domestic market, out of which 20 per cent is covered by mobile phones and accessories of Samsung brand alone.

The market has started facing a shortage of mobiles and accessories as imports have been halted for the last two months, said Dipak Malhotra, president of Mobile Phone Importers’ Association (MPIA).

According to Malhotra, Nepal mostly imports mobile phones and accessories from China, South Korea and Vietnam. “Although imports from South Korea and Vietnam have not been affected yet, the halt of imports from China has hit the Nepali market as most of the Nepali consumers prefer Chinese brands,” he said.

As smartphones of Chinese brands are affordable for all kinds of consumers the demand for Chinese phones has increased in the domestic market in recent years. Almost 85 per cent of mobile sets are being imported from China in the country at present and each year the demand has been rising.

“In recent years Chinese companies have been manufacturing a range of smartphones from very cheap models to those that cater to the high-end market, hence they have become popular in the Nepali market,” said Malhotra, adding, “Currently, we have been facing problems meeting the market demand.”

Kiran Lama, a proprietor of a shop that deals with mobiles and accessories in New Road, said that the number of customers returning empty-handed after not getting accessories they want has been increasing. “Not only are we facing a shortage of new mobile phones to sell we are also facing problems in repairing mobiles as there is a shortage of spare parts too,” he stated. “Even mobile covers and earphones are in shortage at the moment.”

Chinese mobile brands like Gionee, Huawei, Xiaomi, Lenovo, Vivo, Oppo and OnePlus have been doing rapid business in Nepal in recent years.