According to local media reports in India, since September 1, all children’s toys imported into India will have to comply with the country’s “quality control standards.” For commodities that do not meet this standard, the Indian quality inspection department will have powers to refuse customs clearance to their importers. On August 30, Indian Prime Minister Modi stated in a live broadcast that India could become an important global toy production base in the future. Since the Sino-Indian border standoff in May this year, the Indian Government has tried various ways to keep Chinese companies and funds away from the Indian market. Indian people have also set off a wave of “boycott made in China” campaigns. In fact, however, “if there is no ‘Made in China’, Indian society may come to a halt instantaneously,” said Mustafa, a professor at the University of Hyderabad in India, to a reporter from the Huan Qiu Shi Bao. He pointed to his desk and explained: “The computer I use is ‘Made in China’, the mouse is’ Made in China’, and the key board is also ‘Made in China’… If there is no ‘Made in China’, I will be the first to lose my job”.
According to the United Nations International Commodity Trade Statistics Database, India imported about 68.4 billion U.S. dollars worth of goods from China in 2019, of which electronic equipment, mechanical parts, organic chemicals, plastic products and fertilizers occupied the top five positions. If India really decides to completely “decouple” from China economically and prohibit the import of these Chinese products, it may be difficult to achieve self-sufficiency in a short period of time, and it will be difficult to find an alternative source with a price-performance ratio comparable to “Made in China” in the short run.
Indian reporter Thakur told the Huan Qiu Shi Bao reporter that looking around, from mobile phones to hair dryers, almost everything in daily usage is related to “Made in China” in some way or the other. “Some of them may not be directly imported from China. But you will always find that at least a few parts come from China.” She said that in addition to the visible and tangible things such as mobile phones, computers, toys and light bulbs, India’s largest digital payment platform Paytm, well-known online shopping website Big Basket, food delivery app Zomato, online car-hailing platform Ola, and e-commerce firm Flipkart and the education start-up Byju’s all have Chinese investment. “If they really ‘boycott Made in China’, then these so-called local Indian companies will also (have to) be boycotted all together”.