You can either blame it on the coronavirus pandemic or the border dispute in the Himalayan territory of Ladakh, but the result is more or less the same: Indian businesses are boycotting China. As a result, from small shop owners and conglomerates, to even the government, are working to turn their focus away from ‘Made in China’ products and, at the same time, promote swadeshi goods.
Over the past month, we have seen people boycotting Chinese goods on various social media platforms. From breaking their TV sets and throwing away their smartphones, to leaving a one-star rating for Chinese apps and services, the citizens of India have proved that their anger for China is real. Hashtags like #BoycottChina, #BoycottChineseProducts, and #BharatUnitedAgainstChina are still trending on social media platforms. So, we thought now might be a good time to look back at all the major decisions that were taken to reduce our country’s dependency on China and its products.
We have tried to include all major boycott decisions that made it to the headlines. Here’s the list:
- The Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps that had links to Chinese entities. The ban affected popular apps like TikTok, Shein, CamScanner, ShareIt, UC Browser, Club Factory, Baidu Maps and many others.
- The Government eMarketplace (GeM), directed all its sellers to highlight the country of origin of the products they were selling on the platform. This was done to give customers the choice of purchasing only swadeshi goods.
- Amazon India made it mandatory for sellers on its platform to disclose the ‘country of origin’ of new and existing product listings by August 10. Rival e-commerce platforms Flipkart and Snapdeal have, for the past few years, provided sellers with a field to disclose the country of origin information, but have not yet made it mandatory, and it’s set to change in the coming weeks.
- Many Bollywood stars and sports personalities have extended their support to the anti-China movement by refusing to endorse Chinese brands. Celebrities who are currently in a contract with the Chinese brands are not expected to renew it.
- BCCI, one of the world’s biggest governing bodies for cricket, said it would not approve a Chinese brand as its sponsor for future tournaments. In the past, BCCI had sponsors like Pepsi, DLF, LG, Micromax, Jio, etc. and we think it’d be a good time to give them another chance and set an example.
- The traders’ body, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), amplified the call to boycott Chinese imports by directing the businesses in India to boycott Chinese goods and lend support to indigenous products.
- The CAIT recently proposed a “Hindustani Rakshabandhan” next month by promoting Indian-made rakhis. With this, the trader’s body aims to dent China’s INR 4000 crore revenue during the festival.
- To wean investors away from China, the Indian government relaxed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rules. This is expected to attract Fortune 500 companies that are mooting to leave China.
- Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), suspended 3 MoU’s with Chinese companies worth INR 5000 Crores.
- Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) have banned the use of Chinese equipment in their networks and are seeking tenders to replace the existing ones with non-Chinese variants.
- Mobile companies like Micromax, Karbonn and Lava are cutting down their Chinese connections by moving their manufacturing hubs to India and sourcing parts locally.
- The JSW Group said the conglomerate would stop annual imports from China worth USD 400 million in the next 24 months.
- Indian Railway venture Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation Limited has cancelled the ongoing contract worth 471 Crores with Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute of Signal and Communication Company Limited, for the design and installation of signal and telecommunication network.
- Tender for a 5.6km tunnel as part of Delhi-Meerut RRTS Project to Chinese firm Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Company Ltd (STEC) was put on hold by the Indian government.
A sign of changing times?
Indians came together and rallied behind the collective outcry to ban Chinese products in India. The impact the Galwan Valley incident has had on the Indian market is unprecedented. The movement for the first time in history, is not a passing fad, and is here to stay. We hope that the Boycott China movement will act as the much-needed catalyst to transform the Indian economy and boost domestic production. India still has a long journey ahead of it to achieve Aatmanirbhar Bharat, but at least these are a few firm steps in the right direction.