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Apple eyes India stores, but laws may hold it back

Apple is reportedly subject to a law that requires 30 percent of a company's products to be sourced locally.

Apple's store in Hong Kong.
Apple's store in Hong Kong. Apple

Apple's retail stores are expanding their footprint globally. But now, their move into India could be held back.

Earlier today, the Economic Times reported that Apple is currently considering opening stores in India. However, The Wall Street Journal reported today, citing sources, that the company is subject to a law that requires all foreign retailers to source 30 percent of their product sales from local companies. In other words, 30 percent of the products sold in the stores must have come from an Indian partner.

For Apple, that's a problem. The company currently relies on companies like Foxconn and others to produce its products in China. Apple does have some outsourced activities in India, which could help the company bring its stores to the country. However, one Journal source says that such a relaxation of the laws could take "a couple of years" to be completed.

Such changes are by no means unprecedented. Late last year, India nixed a rule that would allow companies selling their own products to own at most, 51 percent, of the operation. Now, they can own it all.

Apple has been quickly expanding its retail presence around the world. Last week, in fact, the company opened a second store in Hong Kong. Apple currently doesn't have any stores in India.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment on the Journal's report. We will update this story when we have more information.