Slaying the dragon: 71% Indians boycotted Chinese goods this Diwali

Heeding the call to boycott China from various quarters, Indian consumers have mostly stayed away from purchasing China-made products this festive season. According to a LocalCircles survey, 71 per cent of local consumers did not purchase goods that carried a ‘Made in China’ tag.

The survey — conducted by the community social media platform among 14,000 Indian consumers spread over 204 districts — shows only 29 per cent of consumers purchased one or more China-made products. Of these, 11 per cent were unaware while purchasing them, while 16 per cent were informed buyers.

China-made products — from smartphones and electrical components to home décor items — gained traction here since the mid-2000s, when they flooded the markets with their cheaper alternatives.

Among consumers who purchased Chinese goods this Diwali, 75 per cent said they preferred China-made ones as they offered value-for-money and were superior in terms of quality and/or uniqueness, when compared to locally made goods.

The tectonic shift towards locally made products has also been registered by traders. According to the country’s leading industry body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), the estimated loss to Chinese manufacturers this Diwali could be as high as Rs 40,000 crore.

“We are all set to achieve our target of reducing imports from China to the tune of Rs 1 trillion by December, 2021,” said CAIT.

According to most consumers, products by Indian manufacturers like light-emitting diode bulbs, candles, plastic are generally more expensive and wanting in quality. This may have pushed them towards cheaper Chinese alternatives.

However, for products like mobile handsets, air purifiers, gadgets, and home appliances, consumers have reported China-made products to be equal or better in quality.

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