On Mi.com, Xiaomi is taking pre-orders in India amid the national lockdown that is in place to halt the coronavirus outbreak. A notice on the e-commerce site says that the company is only accepting prepaid orders and will fulfil deliveries after the government lifts the lockdown. Similar to Xiaomi, Samsung and Vivo are also taking prepaid orders from their online stores in the country. Companies such as Realme have suspended their both online and offline operations due to the lockdown. E-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart are presently not taking any orders for non-essential items.
“We are currently accepting only prepaid orders. Please expect orders to be delivered once lockdown lifts, subject to prevailing local restrictions,” reads a banner on the Mi.com site.
As per a support page, Xiaomi reserves the right to cancel “any and all” pre-orders, though such cancellations will be communicated to customers. The company has also mentioned that deliveries are “subject to state-level and local restrictions” in addition to the availability of delivery partners.
The wording available on the Mi.com clearly shows that while Xiaomi will keep its sales going through the online store, it wants to play a safe game to avoid any criticism in case it fails to deliver pre-orders. Gadgets 360 has reached out to Xiaomi for clarity on the orders and will update this space as and when the company responds. Due to the lockdown, smartphone companies — amongst various other entities — aren’t able to make any sales through online and offline stores in the country. The government, however, recently eased operations for small local retailers.
In late March, the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), the apex body that represents mobile phone vendors in the country, urged the government to include phones as a part of essential goods and start their online sales in the country. Smartphone companies are also seeking a way to resume their sales and services operations in the country.
Alongside Xiaomi, Samsung and Vivo are the two major smartphone companies in the country that are taking pre-orders — with a plan to fulfil deliveries once the lockdown lifts. However, Amazon and Flipkart, who dominate the overall online market, are still not taking any orders for smartphones. Both companies are still restricted to delivering only essential items, but have asked the government to relax norms and allow them to deliver a wider range of products.
The existing lockdown that was originally imposed on March 24 and was extended on April 14 is in place until May 3. Some states, however, have announced its extension to curb the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
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