India’s national lockdown has been extended until May 3rd. During the initial lockdown period from March 25th to April 14th, e-commerce websites were told to accept orders only for essential goods including food, health care and hygience products. However, with lockdown being extended and resultant impact on the economy, the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a notice that details some of the services that will resume after April 20th. The list includes a large number of businesses that will be allowed to resume operations after April 20th. Among those are the e-commerce platforms and smartphone makers. Here’s what you need to know.
Online sale of electronics to commence from April 20th
The new guideline from the Ministry states that goods carriers will get a permit to transit between state lines without any hassles and e-commerce websites will be allowed to resume operations. What this means is that websites like Amazon and Flipkart will be able to start accepting orders and ship them across the country. The online retailers will be able to accept orders for mobile phones, televisions, refrigerators, laptops, and stationery items post-April 20th. The clarification came from a senior home ministry official. The e-commerce giants will need to obtain necessary permissions from officials for their delivery vehicles to ply during the lockdown.
This is a piece of good news for OnePlus, since it launched its OnePlus 8 series of flagships. Apple is also in luck, having launched the affordable iPhone SE just yesterday. Both brands haven’t yet announced sale dates in India, but with this new development, we can expect it to be soon.
Smartphone manufacturing to restart as well
Notably, the initial lockdown witnessed brands like Realme, Samsung, Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo and more halting their manufacturing plants in India temporarily. The new guidelines that came from the MHA has also approved the re-opening of factories, which means that these brands can resume manufacturing their devices. However, they are still required to practise social distancing, which means that operations might resume at a lower capacity than usual.