The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) stated on Thursday that Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi failed to seek approval from the authority for selling smartphones in Pakistan, making the sales illegal.
The statement came a day after Xiaomi alleged that the PTA had barred the sale and marketing of all Mi devices in the country.
Under the Telecom Act 1996 (section 29), no terminal equipment can be directly or indirectly connected with PSTN unless it has been type approved by PTA, read PTA’s statement.
“Type approval granted by PTA signifies that particular telecommunication equipment is approved for general sale and is suitable to connect with a specific public telecommunication network,” it added.
Further, the telecom regulator said that on April 8, 2016, M/s Cheezmall applied for the type approval for Xioami device model Mi4i. During the evaluation it was revealed that the Mi4i device has certain features which did not meet the required specifications and legal provisions, and, therefore, was not approved.
Subsequently, the applicant was asked to modify the phones before shipping them Pakistan, which they failed to do. The authority maintained that the approval request for Xiaomi Mi4i is still pending, meaning they cannot be sold in Pakistan.
However, the PTA did not mention which features of the device were not in accordance with the law.
Selling phones illegally in Pakistan
PTA went on to reveal that on July 22, a consumer informed the authority via email that Xiaomi.pk, a website being operated directly from China, was illegally selling devices in Pakistan, which were being sent via grey channel into the country.
The company was asked to abstain from sale of non-type approved devices via grey channels within Pakistan, and Xiaomi.pk was asked to apply for approval if wished to commercially market the devices.
Further, PTA alleged that instead of responding to the directives, the website posted personal details of PTA officials, including their email IDs, along with a misrepresented message reflecting that PTA purposely stopped the sale/marketing of this device in order to create an outcry/hype.
Earlier, Xiaomi.pk, in a statement posted on its website, said, “The PTA has demanded that XiaomiPK.com has to stop the sale/marketing of all Mi mobile devices… We want our customers and people around the country to understand the monopoly of some brands in the market.”
“We believe that the Pakistani market deserves to have fair competition but these events make us ponder that some competitors believe in grabbing the market through influence instead of competing on the basis of quality and service.”
“We have great respect for the authorities at the PTA, and we believe their intentions are good. But it is quite surprising that Pakistani customer’s right has been denied without any reason. If they have any legitimate concern we are ready to address it but so far we haven’t got any rational reason, the statement added.”