Over the years, China has grown to be the second-biggest trading partner of India. From mobile phones to kids toys, its products have penetrated in almost every corner of India. For context, the trade between both the countries had touched $90 billion in the year ending March 2018.
However, Chinese products have been discarded by Indians consumers as well as traders as it’s killing local manufacturing. Out of many traders’ bodies boycotting Chinese products, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has launched a national campaign to boycott Chinese goods in March this year.
CAIT, which represents 70 million traders, has claimed a 60% decline in sales of Chinese goods this Diwali as compared to previous years.
According to the survey conducted by CAIT Research & Trade Development Society across 21 Indian cities, the value of Chinese goods sold this Diwali had been reduced by more than two times to Rs 3,200 crore this year from Rs 8,000 crore sale in 2018.
A sharp drop was seen in Chinese items including gifting, electrical gadgets, fancy lights, kitchenware and appliances, plastic items, idols of Indian Gods, home decoration goods, toys, wall hangings, lamps, home furnishing items, footwear, garments and apparels, among others, revealed the findings.
The survey, which was conducted during the last week of October, had mapped responses of traders in 21 cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Bhuvneshwar and Tinsukia to estimate the demand for Chinese products.
As per Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary-General, CAIT, the attitude and mindset of the consumers are changing. They have now understood that Chinese goods, though maybe cheaper, have no longer life and therefore does not carry a guarantee.
Indian traders and importers were advised well in advance in the month of July itself to boycott Chinese products on Diwali. Hence, the visibility of Chinese products was limited during Diwali, added Khandelwal.
While a sharp fall in sales of Chinese goods appears as a good sign for local manufacturing, e-commerce and offline retail companies are largely dependant on China for sourcing.
Manufacturers and consumers are welcoming protest by CAIT and others. Nevertheless, we need to support MSMEs and manufacturing segments to boost local production with efficiency and match the cost of production at par with China.