Technology
With 180% growth, Chinese smartphone vendors set to wipe out Indian brands
Chinese vendors captured 49 per cent of the Indian mobile phone handset market in the first quarter of 2017 -- a 180 per cent (year-on-year) revenue growth -- threatening to wipe out domestic players from the overall handset segment, a report said on Friday.
 
According to research firm CyberMedia Research's (CMR) "India Quarterly Mobile Handset Market Review" report, mobile handsets market in India recorded revenues of Rs 346,295 million in the first quarter (January-March), down eight per cent sequentially quarter-on-quarter. 
 
Samsung of South Korea, and the Chinese Itel and Xiaomi were the top market players with 27 per cent, nine per cent and six per cent market share, respectively, in terms of volume. 
 
"In the smartphone arena, the Chinese brands have already kicked out domestic players from the top five list and in the near future, we will see Chinese players wiping out the Indian brands from the top five chart of overall mobile handset segment too," said Krishna Mukherjee, Telecom Analyst with CMR, in a statement. 
 
The Indian mobile handset market -- having leading brands Micromax, Intex and Lava -- is forecast to be at around 65 million units in the second quarter (April-June), and the growth will come from replacement/upgrade market that would continue to benefit the Chinese brands. 
 
"As this would be the last quarter before GST is implemented (on July 1), a lot of push by way of schemes and offers from various handset makers is expected during the quarter," the report added. 
 
Apple's entry into the 'Make in India' bandwagon via iPhoneSE will change the market dynamics as it will open up tough competition for Chinese players like Vivo and Oppo, which have been strong in the Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 price range.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Simple Indian

2 months ago

Despite the "Make in India" motto of this Modi Govt since 2014, it has done precious little to prevent Chinese goods flooding Indian market, which has been happening for over a decade now. The least this Narendra Modi Govt could do is levy heavy import duties on Chinese goods, so that domestic manufacturing sector can surge gradually, and undo years of onslaught by Chinese goods. But, sadly, this Govt has only been all talk, no walk. While I, like most people who voted for BJP in LS 2014 hoped that BJP will not be as corrupt and people-unfriendly as the Congress has been for most of the past 70 yrs, it has disappointed us hugely. Just as Congress remained in power due to the TINA factor, so does Modi, and the day an alternative emerges, it will be curtains for both Modi and his hypocritical party.

SRINIVAS SHENOY

2 months ago

I hope the Indian smartphone manufacturers will successfully withstand the tough competition in the smartphone arena.

Reporting ransomware, other cyber threats - your legal obligations
The Wannacry ransomware outbreak that continues to unravel across the globe is the latest in a long line of prominent cyber security threats. With time, these attacks are only likely to become more frequent, sophisticated and widespread.
 
The Indian IT Secretary recently stated that the impact of ransomware in India is currently limited to six incidents. In sharp contrast, other estimates peg attempts at over 48,000 and counting, with over 700 successful infections.
 
If the government figures belie (as they often do) the true impact of attacks such as Wannacry, this creates big problems for everyone.
 
For one, it delays the time specialised first-responders like the government's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) take to kick into high gear and take the necessary steps to prevent an online pandemic. It also creates a false sense of security in users who may not take critical steps at their level to prevent a much larger network attack.
 
An important step in ensuring the government is on the ball, is reporting such incidents to the authorities -- something that may not strike most people, but is the law, and non-reporting is punishable.
 
So what qualifies as a report-worthy "incident" under law?
 
Rules relating to CERT-In's functioning classify the following instances as those which are required to be mandatorily reported as soon as possible: (i) targeted scanning/probing of critical networks/systems (ii) Compromise of critical systems/information (iii) Unauthorised access of IT systems/data (iv) Defacement of website or intrusion into a website and unauthorised changes such as inserting malicious code, links to external websites, etc. (v) Malicious code attacks such as spreading of virus/worm/Trojan/botnets/spyware; (vi) Attacks on servers such as database, mail, and DNS and network devices such as routers (vii) Identity theft, spoofing and phishing attacks (viii) Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks (ix) Attacks on critical infrastructure, SCADA systems and wireless networks and (x) Attacks on applications such as e-governance, e-commerce, etc.
 
Most of these instances are self-explanatory, and the current ransomware attack falls within several of these categories -- (ii), (iii), (v), (vi) (vii) and (viii) all have elements of a ransomware attack.
 
If you find that you fall within one of the instances above, the next question that arises is who needs to report them and how.
 
Under the CERT-In Rules, the reporting requirement lies on "any individual, organisation or corporate entity affected by cyber security incidents" (which include the mandatory reportable incidents set out above, although the definition itself is wider). Reporting incidents to CERT-In can be through several channels (email [email protected], call the helpdesk at 1800-11-4949, or fax 1800-11-6969).
 
The website http://www.cert-in.org.in/ also provides an incident reporting form to be filled in, which must cover details such as the timing of the incident, affected systems, symptoms observed and relevant technical information.
 
If you are an enterprise user and have system administrators, the best person to carry out the reporting exercise would be the head of the team. Remember that the reporting is required as soon as possible, and a general yard-stick (though not specifically set) would be within 24 hours of the incident.
 
Although a direct penalty is not provided for under the CERT-In Rules, its umbrella legislation does, and non-reporting could attract one of several potential penalties (currently open to interpretation), ranging from Rs 5,000 a day or Rs 150,000 per failure, to Rs 100,000, imprisonment (yes) of up to one year, or a combination of the two.
 
Additional reporting requirements apply to "intermediaries" under the IT Act, banks are mandatorily required to specifically report cyber security incidents to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) within 2-6 hours (see https://tinyurl.com/moca57f and https://tinyurl.com/l5ajkqq), and telecom operators have a similar obligation under the Unified License Agreement where a breach of a license term (such as reporting) carries a hefty fine of Rs 50 crore for each breach.
 
Finally, if you're affected by ransomware and are being asked to pay a ransom in Bitcoin to decrypt your data, beware that virtual currencies such as Bitcoin and the wallets and exchanges that enable Bitcoin transactions in India continue to function in a legal grey area, although some form of regulation is on the anvil.
 
Thus, beyond the practical problem of paying a ransom in Bitcoin and the attacker rescinding on his promise to decrypt your files, making such payments, especially overseas, could result in the RBI coming knocking at your door.
 
As a long-term strategy, individuals and organisations alike would do well to adapt industry best-practices relating to cyber security (whether or not they are mandated to do so by law), ensure that policies adopted in this regard are in sync with legal reporting requirements, and that all relevant stakeholders are made aware of what those requirements are and how to address them in a crisis situation.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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No tax on food items, contraceptives; mobile phone levy at 12% under GST
With the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council deciding the tax rate on 1,211 goods on Thursday, there is cheer for the common man as 81 per cent of the goods are below 18 per cent, though people will have to shell out more even for small segment cars with additional cess levied on them.
 
Milk, eggs, salt, fresh vegetables, fruits, contraceptives, organic manure, earthen pots, coconut, prasadam supplied by religious places like temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras and dargahs have been exempted under GST.
 
Live animals, fruit juices and meat will call for a 12 per cent tax while fish has been put in the 5 per cent tax rate.
 
Butter and cheese have been placed under the 12 per cent tax rate and condensed milk under 18 per cent. 
 
Beverages such as coffee (not instant), tea and groundnut, coal, hand pumps will attract 5 per cent tax under GST.
 
While jaggery is exempt under GST, cane sugar and beet sugar are in the 5 per cent tax slab. Bio gas plant, wind mills and kerosene lantern will also be under the 5 per cent tax rate.
 
Mobile phones, fountain pen ink, tooth powder, incense sticks, feeding bottles, Braille paper, children's colouring books, umbrellas, pencil sharpeners, tractors, bicycles, contact lenses, spectacle lenses, utensils, sports goods, fishing rods, combs, pencils and hand paintings have been placed under the 12 per cent tax rate under GST.
 
Bindi, vermilion, glass bangles, handlooms, hearing aids and handmade musical instruments have also been exempt under GST. A total of 7 per cent of items have been kept zero rated.
 
The goods which will fall under 18 per cent tax rate include helmets, LPG stoves, nuclear reactors, clocks, military weapons, electronic toys and plastic buttons.
 
The items which have been put in the highest tax slab of 28 per cent include aerated drinks, perfumes, after-shave lotions, deodarants, clothing of furskin, razor blades, cars, revolvers, pistols, 
 
More than 200 products appear in the 28 per cent tax slab. 
 
"Ideally, few products should have been put in 28 per cent bracket and 18 per cent should have been a miscellaneous schedule (to cover all balance products). The temptation of putting more products under 28 per cent bracket will certainly complicate the Indian GST structure," GST expert Pritam Mahure told IANS.
 
Compensation cess: 55 products will attract compensation cess. 
 
The cess on small cars ranges from 1-3 per cent, 3 per cent on motorcycles with 350 cc engine, personal aircraft and yachts while mid-segment and large cars will attract a cess of 15 per cent. 
 
All goods, other than pan masala containing tobacco 'gutka' will have to bear a cess of 89 per cent while tobacco and tobacco products will call for a cess in the range of 12.5-290 per cent. Cess of 5 per cent has been levied on cigarettes and 60 per cent on pan masala. Aerated drinks will attract a cess of 12 per cent.
 
Mahure says that it is expected that a few classification disputes may continue like whether groundnut chikki should be classified as 'sweetmeat' attracting 5 per cent GST rate or sugar confectionery attracting 18 per cent GST rate. 
 
Now, the manufacturers/traders will have to quantify the impact of the GST rates on their product prices and update their tax masters/registers with these rates. This is a complex exercise for traders who are not very conversant with tariff codes and classification, he added.
 
The rate structure for the remaining goods -- bidi wrapper leaves, biscuits, bidis, textiles, footwear, natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals, imitation jewellery, power driven agricultural, horticultural, forestry, poultry keeping or bee-keeping machinery and harvesting machinery is expected to be decided on Friday in the GST Council's meeting on the second day in Srinagar.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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