China’s media today said that social media calls in India to boycott Chinese goods haven’t worked with rising sales of Chinese smartphones in India and growing bilateral trade.
A commentary in the Global Times, a nationalist tabloid published by the Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, said that “regardless of the passionate boycott in India and Indian media’s hysteric reports of a ‘doomsday’ for Chinese products, Chinese goods have never been condemned by Indian government and are popular across the nation.”
“The boycott has not achieved success,” wrote Zhen Bo, a scholar at the Center for South Asia-West China Cooperation and Development Studies, Institute of South Asian Studies, Sichuan University.
“Sales figures for Chinese products on the top three Indian online retailers in the first week of October hit a new record. Amazingly, the Chinese mobile phone company Xiaomi sold half a million phones in just three days on the Flipkart, Amazon India, Snapdeal and Tata CLiQ platforms.”
“China’s investment in India,” he added, “soared to around $ 870 million in 2015, six times what it was in 2014.”
Calls to boycott Chinese goods have gone viral in recent days, triggered by anger over its move on September 30 to extend a technical hold preventing the sanctioning of Jaish-e-Muhammad terrorist Masood Azhar.
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Several local trading bodies have issued calls to boycott goods, especially China-made firecrackers, ahead of the festive season.
“Chinese products are often the victim when regional situations get tense, and this phenomenon has been existing for quite a few years,” the commentary said.
“There have been at least two prominent Indian boycotts of Chinese goods in the past few months. The first happened in April. It was caused by dissatisfaction over China’s stand on the issue of.. Azhar who is accused of committing terrorist acts in India. The second was in July and because of China’s lack of support for India’s bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Now Chinese goods are on the stage again due to the Kashmir issue.”
Zhen argued that “enhancing economic ties would be a preferable way to promote the comprehensive bilateral relationship”. “The more economic cooperation exists, the more opportunities there will be for Chinese products to enter the Indian market,” he said. “India is a big potential market, and people using smartphones and doing online shopping has become the irreversible trend in the new era. With enough experience and capital, some keen Chinese companies have already expanded their business into India. Hopefully, these early birds will get the worm soon.”