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Can India really beat the Chinese monopoly?

Monday, June 22, 2020 • Telugu Comments

India runs a huge trade deficit with China. The deficit numbers have only worsened in the last few years. This has come about on the back of increased supply chain dependencies on China.

A recent article in the Indian Express noted that "China accounts for around 14% of India’s total imports". Electronic goods, automobile products, telecom-related equipment, plastic and metallic goods, chemicals, pharma ingredients, capital goods are among the major imports. From antibiotics to fertilizers, we are dependent on a lot of imports from China.

Added to these, as per data, $4 billion is what the Chiense investors have pumped into Indian startups. At a time when startups have become very important to our economy, one can have a sense of how important Chinese money is.

Our smartphone industry is vastly China-ised. The influence of China apps is rampant. From TikTok to PUBG, from WeChat to CamScanner, we use them all.

A recent report says that the Chinese know the Indian mind a lot. "Their manufacturers have relied on marketing tricks like deep discounts, micro-payments, freebies, fake accounts, and sexually suggestive content to lure the Indian customers," the report suggests.

Indian manufacturers, service providers, bureaucrats, politicians and common citizens are in for a long haul. It's not going to be easy to tame the Dragon's influence on the Indian market. Sustained, collective and rigorous efforts will go into reducing dependency on China by a quarter percentage or so in 5-10 years. There is no silver bullet.

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