Is India completely prepared to boycott Chinese products?

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The call to boycott Chinese goods is gathering pace on Social media platforms as the tension is escalating into violent clashes with the PLA troops at the Indo-China border. Users are expected to say no to chinese products so as to hurt the Chinese economy that treats India as a market.

It is essential to understand how practical and feasible this call is in the current scenario. Are Indian industries capable of filling up the vacuum? Is Indian government supporting the local ventures? The clamour for boycotting Chinese products amid Indo-China tensions is unrealistic, says Mohit Singla, Chairman of Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) which plays a key role in assisting the government in policies matter.

The anti-Chinese sentiments are not in the economic interest of the country if one is looking at the current reality, the TPCI Chairman said in an interview.

Pankaj Mohindroo, Chairman of India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), said it is no secret that a substantive part of India’s supply chain has its roots in China.

“Efforts are underway to enhance self-dependency over the past few years. We should focus on building strong capabilities…There is no impact (of the protests)…We have been focussing on enhancing production in India, and now we are promoting Indian champions, by 2025, we will have strong Indian companies in mobile phone and component segment,” he said.

He further said: “We remain confident that the Indian and Chinese leadership will find a lasting resolution out of the current border impasse. We remain hopeful of peace without compromising India’s strategic priorities”.

Interestingly, four of the top five smartphone brands in India (Xiaomi, Vivo, Realme and Oppo) are from China, and accounted for almost 76 per cent share of the 32.5 million smartphones shipped in India in the March 2020 quarter.

At the same time that calls of boycott are being made to boycott Chinese goods, Indian government goes on to grant hundreds of crores worth of construction project to China. At the time when users are asked to boycott Chinese Apps, Indian government goes on to make an official account on Tik Tok.

At the same time when Indian Army is battling Chinese troops tooth and nail, Indian government goes on to make an order of Bulletproof jackets for Indian Army to China because of less cost. At the time when China was competing with Indian economy, PM Modi invited Xi Jinping to Mahabalipuram and school kids were asked to wear Xi Jinping masks to please Chinese President.

Union Minister Ramdas Athawale has asked to boycott Chinese food which will only end up hurting Indian businesses because Chinese food in India is not imported from China. Moreover, if Chinese products are boycotted overnight, it will hurt the Indian dealers because they have already paid China and they will be left to bear the brunt of this boycott.

Since there are no clear instructions from the government, an average Indian might end up hurting Indian businessmen alone instead of China.

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