Apple: Here’s what India’s Prime Minister just tweeted

Narendra Modi is a PM who knows social media.

The foreign direct investment (FDI) rules that prevented Apple from opening retail stores in India have been rewritten. The details were released on Twitter:

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 7.02.29 AM

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This is the specific language that seems to give Apple retail the green light:

9. Single Brand Retail Trading
It has now been decided to relax local sourcing norms up to three years and a relaxed sourcing regime for another five years for entities undertaking Single Brand Retail Trading of products having ‘state-of-art’ and ‘cutting edge’ technology.

Tim Cook met with Prime Minister Modi during his high-profile visit last month, presumably to iron out such trade barriers. Still unresolved is whether Apple will be permitted to sell pre-owned iPhones on the subcontinent.

UPDATE: According to LiveMint‘s Remya Nair, Apple must reapply under new rules announced on Monday if it wants a waiver from the stipulation that mandates single-brand foreign retailers to source 30% of their products from India.

See also: India has a man crush on Apple’s Tim Cook (video) 


  1. John Kirk said:
    I hope this is as good as it looks.

    I find India so frustrating. Their protectionist policies have hurt them ever since they gained their independence from the British. To anyone who knows economics, they’ve become a case study in how NOT to have a government regulate an economy. They have so much potential. They could be as economically important as China or any other country you care to name if they would only stop shackling themselves.

    I hope, hope, hope that India is serious about lifting its restrictions, but I’m also very skeptical. They just don’t seem to “get it” and I so hope I’m wrong and India if finally allowing Apple and other countries to compete with Indian companies on a level playing field.

    June 20, 2016
    • Jonathan Mackenzie said:
      You’re right, but consider:

      The British treated India as a bulk supplier in raw material that they needed to support their industrial economy. As Gandhi noted, India sold her fabric in bulk to England and then had to buy back the dyed fabric in all its finished forms at a huge mark-up. In many cases, India even supplied the dye! Gandhi’s point was that India was capable of dying its own fabric and keeping the profit (or net productivity) themselves. Of course that would never happen as long as they were ruled by the British.

      It is hard to fault India if Indian Home Rule was economically isolationist. It has certainly hurt their participation in the growing global economy, but they have to choose the speed with which they want to open their economic borders. After over 300 years of colonial exploitation, they’re a little concerned a business like Apple might come in and sell finished goods that are sourced elsewhere and pull a bunch of money out of the country.

      It’s a valid fear, I think, even if I think Apple would be a pretty responsible partner and invest a bunch of money in India.

      Maybe Apple can help them “get it” and help them experience some of the upside of allowing global tech companies to peddle their wares.

      June 20, 2016

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