India is witnessing a huge anti-China sentiments, following the the violent clashes along the Line of Actual Control with China on 15th June, which left 20 Indian soldiers dead.
A national campaign to boycott Chinese goods, is gaining momentum among general public in India. The Confederation of All India Traders, which represents 70 million traders and 40,000 trade associations, called for the boycott of 3,000 Chinese products. These include several consumer electronics goods, toys, textiles, building materials etc.
India, like many countries that have become reliant on China even for equipment required to curb the spread of Coronavirus, such as testing kits, face masks, and other personal protective equipments. This hasn’t stopped the Indian public from turning against China to express their anger. Indian public are running social media campaigns urging citizens to boycott goods and apps made in China. An Android app called “Remove China Apps” was developed to help people to remove all apps originated in China from smartphones. The app was downloaded 5 million times, as tension between both countries escalated. Several Indian celebrities have supported deleting Chinese apps. Yoga guru Baba Ramdev tweeted a video over the weekend that showed him deleting several apps with an affiliation with China.
According to a recent survey conducted by social media firm LocalCircles, 97 percent Indians say they will boycott major Chinese brands, such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus, Club Factory, AliExpress, Shein, Tik Tok, and WeChat, and instead support Indian brands.
Can India afford to boycott Chinese mobile brands
The smartphone market in India is huge and Chinese brands hold 72 per cent of the Indian market. These Chinese companies have invested heavily in manufacturing in India.
Xiaomi Corporation, the leading Chinese smartphone maker, has seven plants in India and employs more than 25,000 people. All the smartphones they make in India are sold in India. Therefore boycotting Chinese brands is going to hurt India. But taking a long term view, Indian companies need to take up the challenge and boost domestic manufacturing to meet the demand for Indian brands.
Telecoms and Railways to cancel contracts with China
The Indian government has instructed two state-run telecoms firms BSNL and MTNL to cancel contract with Chinese companies ZTE and Huawei to upgrade the mobile networks to 4G and use equipment made in India.
The Indian Railways will also be terminating the contract with China Railway Signal and Communication Corporation to install the signalling system on 400 km of railway lines in the Eastern Freight Corridor. The Rs 500 crore contract awarded in 2016 will be cancelled as the Indian Railways have been dissatisfied with the work.