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Last Updated : Apr 06, 2020 03:21 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

COVID-19 impact | Boycott Chinese products: Social media campaign in India gathers steam

But like most social media trends, the call to boycott Chinese goods and technology seems like more of a knee jerk reaction to a crisis as opposed to a well thought out movement.


Call to boycott Chinese goods is once again gaining steam among some Indians on social media following the outbreak of the novel cornavirus in China few months ago. The outbreak has thrown the world in disarray, forcing a quarter of the world’s population to stay indoors.

Since the virus first originated in a wet market in Wuhan, people around the world have been criticizing the Chinese government and the citizens for the consumption of wild animals.

Some Indian users on social media have been calling for the ban of TikTok, an app owned by Chinese tech giant Bytedance.


However, the call to boycott Chinese goods is gaining steam not just in India but outside as well. Some users are encouraging people to share images of products that haven’t been made in China, while others are criticizing the authoritarian Chinese President Xi Jinping for suppression of information, human rights violations and an oppressive regime.

But like most social media trends, the call to boycott Chinese goods and technology seems like more of a knee jerk reaction to a crisis as opposed to a well thought out movement. India is one of the biggest importers of Chinese goods. Chinese smartphone brands currently control 51 percent of India's over USD 8 billion smartphone market. India is also reliant on China for meeting its solar equipment demand. In 2018-19, China exported well above 60 percent of electronic products and components and over 80 percent of antibiotics.

Several Indian sectors will be affected if Chinese goods are boycotted, costing thousands of jobs. India will need to reduce its trade deficit and bolster its manufacturing sector before even considering boycotting Chinese products. Moreover, who is to say that the Chinese government won't react to such a move.

After the US government put sanctions on Chinese goods, the Xi Jinping administration replied by enforcing sanctions of their own on crops imported from the US, killing the country's soybean market and forcing President Trump into a USD 28 billion bailout for farmers.
First Published on Apr 6, 2020 03:21 pm
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