Weekly News Updates-India Aug 23 to Aug 29

Indian EV cell manufacturer Log9 flags output decline; Key highlights of Reliance Industries AGM for future; 58 companies show interest in the hardware PLI 2.0; U.S. raises concerns over India's intention to limit tech imports; Thomson to Start Manufacturing Laptops in India; Sebi mandates further disclosures from FPIs that meet certain objective criteria; Zepto becomes the first unicorn of India in 2023; India’s satellite safely lands on the moon

Indian EV cell manufacturer Log9 flags output decline due to Chinese experts’ delayed visas

Indian government’s delay in approving visa requests led Log9 Materials, the country’s first producer of lithium-ion batteries, to issue a production warning for its Bengaluru facility. The delay could affect Log9’s ability to produce because it depends on Chinese engineers to install new machines and upgrade current ones at its facilities.

Its factory’s ability to attain peak output levels would be hampered by a four-month visa issuance delay. An Indian government official claimed earlier this month that several manufacturers who depend on Chinese expertise wanted quicker approval for the visa requests of their Chinese suppliers.

The only manufacturing facility now operated by Log9, located in Bengaluru, has an established yearly capacity for the production of 250 MWh of batteries.



Key highlights and big announcements made at the AGM of Reliance Industries

On Monday, August 28, 2023, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) convened its 46th Annual General Meeting. A number of significant announcements were made by Chairman Mukesh Ambani, including changes to the company’s board of directors and Jio True 5G. According to Mukesh Ambani, it is a “New Reliance,” a technologically advanced organisation with distinctive characteristics.

RIL AGM 2023: Here are all key highlights and big announcements – The Economic Times (indiatimes.com)


58 companies show interest in the hardware PLI 2.0
間企業將申請PLI 2.0硬體生產補助

Alkesh Kumar Sharma, secretary at the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, announced on Monday that 58 companies have registered with the government for the Rs 17,000 crore IT hardware production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme. Two businesses—including HP—out of the 58 registrants have actually submitted their applications, according to informed sources.

Applications for the scheme must be submitted by August 30. Companies who participated in the first phase of the IT hardware PLI, including Dell, ICT Service (Wistron), Lava, Dixon, Rising Stars Hi-Tech (Foxconn), Netweb Technologies, and Optiemus Electronics, among others, are anticipated to transition to the new scheme, according to officials.



U.S. raises concerns over India’s intention to limit tech imports

According to a USTR statement, India and the US have agreed to find a solution to the problem that addresses the concerns of both countries, with the US having expressed reservations over India’s move to put import restrictions on specific electronic gadgets.

The problem was raised on August 26 during a meeting between Piyush Goyal, the minister of commerce and industry, and Katherine Tai, the U.S. trade representative.

In 2022–2023, India imported products worth $8.8 billion, including PCs/laptops, tablets, WiFi dongles, smart card readers, and Android TV boxes. In order to increase domestic production and decrease imports from nations like China, India said earlier this month that it will impose import limits on electronic products like laptops and desktops (including tablet computers) starting from November 1.


Thomson to Start Manufacturing Laptops in India

The newest brand to enter the Indian laptop market is French electronics manufacturer, Thomson. According to a senior executive quoted in a report by ET Telecom, the OEM is working to decide on a local contract manufacturer situated in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, to begin building devices within the nation. France is one of the European nations where Thomson is now selling laptops.

Similar to what we’ve seen companies like Blaupaunkt do, the company made a comeback in India in 2018 through a strategic alliance with local SPPL. According to the ET Telecom story, Thomson will sell its laptops through Flipkart, the only online retailer it presently uses to sell televisions in India.



Sebi mandates further disclosures from FPIs that meet certain objective criteria

In accordance with the most recent changes made to the Sebi (FPI) Regulations, the market regulator has mandated the requirements for disclosure reporting by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs).

A consultation paper on the subject was published by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on May 31 in response to observations that certain FPIs held a concentrated share of their equity portfolio in a single investee business or corporate group. Such concentrated investments raised concerns that investors or promoters of such investee companies might use such FPIs to get around regulatory requirements, like disclosures under the Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers Regulations, 2011, or maintaining Minimum Public Shareholding (MPS), in the listed company.

Some FPIs are required to provide specific information about all entities holding ownership, economic interests, or control over the FPI, up to the level of all natural persons, without regard to any threshold, in accordance with the criteria outlined in the most recent circular, dated August 24.



Zepto raises $200 million with a valuation of $1.4 billion to become the first unicorn of 2023

Zepto, an online grocery delivery startup, ended India’s 11-month unicorn drought by raising $200 million in a Series-E fundi raise, valuing the company at $1.4 billion.

StepStone Group, Zepto, a US-based private markets investment firm founded in the wake of the pandemic, spearheaded the fundraising, it was announced on Friday.

Participating in this round were longtime supporters GladeBrook Capital and Nexus Venture Partners (where StepStone is a limited partner), as well as new investors StepStone Group and Goodwater Capital, as well as individual investor Lachy Groom.

Zepto is the first unicorn, or startup valued at over $1 billion, to be minted in India this year, thus the money is very significant.


India over the moon: Chandrayaan-3 becomes 1st probe to land near lunar south pole
印度探測器月船3 (Chandrayaan-3) 成為首個在月球南極登陸的探測器

On August 23, a significant milestone for the country was reached as the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft touched down softly near the south pole of the moon. After the United States, the former Soviet Union, and China, India is now the fourth nation to successfully complete a lunar landing.

According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the historic touchdown happened at 8:33 am ET (12:33 GMT or 6:03 p.m. India Standard Time).

Soon, Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram lander is anticipated to release the Pragyan solar-powered rover. Before its batteries run out after sunset, the robotic team will spend one lunar day (around 14 Earth days) exploring its new home. Their objective is to gather scientific data about the moon’s composition.