China is India’s biggest trading partner, accounting for 18% of its imports and 9% exports.
The death of 20 Indian soldiers in a clash with Chinese troops in Ladakh’s Galwan valley has sent the bilateral ties in a free fall, with increasing demands that India boycott Chinese goods.
That option may be available after some time but in the short-run that is not feasible as India relies on China not only for finished goods but also intermediate goods used for production domestically.
Here is how it stacks up:
75% of the smartphones sold in India are made by Chinese companies. Homegrown firms lost the race when 4G came. The number of smartphone users in India is expected to rise by 84% to 859 million by 2022 from 468 million in 2017, a study has said.
Apple says iPhone is “built everywhere in the world” but many of the components still come from China. Though it has started making some models in India as well but it won’t make flagship models, for want of skilled labour and adequate infrastructure, reports have said
China accounts for 67% of imports in the electronic components sector (market Size Rs 5,300 billion). Semiconductors and integrated circuits, which are the heart of modern electronic devices such as laptops and phones, are among the components that India buys from China.
67% of India's active pharmaceutical ingredients come from China. India imported $2.6 billion worth of these chemicals during the April-Dec’19 period. Of this, $1.8 billion worth of APIs came from China.
Often called the world’s factory, China has a huge presence in our lives. It keeps time for us, brings the world to our homes through phone, TV and the internet. Selfie sessions to conversations over dinner in fine China, the Chinese footprint is hard to miss.
45% percent of consumer durables imported to India come from China. The sector is estimated to be around Rs 763 billion ($11.2-billion in FY19). AC, refrigerators and televisions lead the pack.
45% of the smart TVs sold in India are Chinese, with alternatives costlier by 20-45%.
38% of imported leather goods, mostly shoes, come from China. The market size of the leather and leather goods industry is worth Rs 780 billion ($11.5 billion in FY19).
18% of India’s auto components come from China. India’s auto component market is worth Rs 3,590 billion ($53-billion). India companies are stepping up but the cost is a big factor favouring the Chinese.
India imports $460 million worth of synthetic yarn and $360 million worth of synthetic fabric from China annually. It also imports over $140 million worth of accessories like buttons, zippers, hangers and needles, a report in Economic Times has said.
Not just hardware, Chinese apps also dominate Indian markets.
TikTok is arguably the most popular Chinese app in India. The short video app has a billion-plus downloads globally. India is said to be its biggest market, with industry estimates putting its monthly users at 120 million.
Helo competes with TikTok and had more than 100 million downloads globally. Helo was launched by TikTok owner Bytedance specifically for the Indian market.
PUBG took smartphone users in India by storm. The game replicates the experience of Counter Strike on the mobile. Such was the addiction that local administrations banned the game in public places.
UCBrowser, Shareit and CamScanner are popular utility apps in India.(Source: CARE Ratings, Crisil, Counterpoint Research, industry estimates)