Google Inc. To expand outside China, Google is looking for vendors to produce its Pixel smartphones in India. Google is taking a page from Apple Inc.’s playbook.

People familiar with the situation who asked to remain anonymous because the talk is private claimed that Google has started preliminary discussions with businesses including domestic firms Lava International Ltd. and Dixon Technologies India Ltd. as well as Foxconn Technology Group’s Indian affiliate Bharat FIH.

Google would be the most recent major company in technology to relocate manufacturing to India. The possible partners it is in talks with have benefited from the so-called production-linked financial incentives offered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which have increased domestic manufacturing. Through the program, Apple has expanded its network of Indian suppliers and increased iPhone production by more than three times, to reach more than $7 billion in the fiscal year through March 2023.

Due to China’s strict Covid lockdowns, a trade dispute between the United States and China, and other factors, Modi has been promoting India as an alternative manufacturing base. This week, Modi is due to go to the US, where his team will conduct discussions about a variety of issues, including the reduction of trade obstacles between the two nations in technology.

In a meeting last month at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, India’s Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and CEO Sundar Pichai discussed Modi’s push for local manufacturing and India’s state-backed technology initiative.

Ana Corrales, the operational head of Google’s consumer hardware division, and Maggie Wei, a senior director of global sustaining product operations, visited India this month for partnership negotiations, according to the individuals.

Requests for a response from Lava, Dixon, Google, and Foxconn representatives went unanswered.

According to Counterpoint Research, Google produced around 9 million Pixel smartphones last year, and the conversations in India highlight its aspirations to expand manufacturing outside of China and Vietnam. One of the most advanced smartphones available, the Pixel is used by Google to demonstrate the power of its Android software and applications when they are optimized.

India is a significant growing market for Google’s services, but the corporation has mainly stood by and watched as the area has been dominated by cheaper Chinese phones. The local assembly might boost Pixel sales, and if the phone project is a success, Google could also outsource the manufacturing of other goods, like speakers, to India, the sources said.

However, there is no guarantee that Google’s negotiations would end in an agreement, and the corporation may decide against producing the Pixel in India, according to the individuals.