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Nokia reaffirms its Finnish origins amid anti-China sentiment

Its messaging makes it stand out in India's smartphone market that Chinese brands dominate.

We were surprised to see Nokia mobiles' India Twitter handle talk about its Finnish origins and 'Made in India' pride. But, then was it too surprising?

'Where are you from?' may seem a simple and innocent question but in India's present anti-China atmosphere, it's a question not all brands would love to answer.

After the Galwan Valley skirmish between Indian and Chinese soldiers on the night of June 15, 2020, that left 20 Indian soldiers dead, and several others injured, a wave of anti-China sentiment swept the nation. Social media was and still is awash with tends such as 'BoycottChina', 'BoycottChina Products', 'BanChineseProducts' among others.

For Nokia mobiles to express such messaging is important because Chinese smartphone makers rule India's phone market. According to market research firm Counterpoint Research, four of the top five smartphone brands in India are Chinese. Xiaomi is at the top, followed by Vivo, Realme, and Oppo.

All these brands were subjected to criticism and calls for a boycott on social media. Although Xiaomi, Realme, OnePlus were aggressively launching new models, these brands along with other Chinese brands muted their promotional/marketing activities considerably.

This sentiment may well work in Nokia's favour. Recently, it launched the Nokia 5310, a feature phone with a retro classic design whose battery can last for weeks and dual front-facing speakers. You can buy it for Rs 3,999.