India as a country doesn’t boast of a booming market of its own. Businesses that are homegrown generally don’t please the targeted demographic due to multiple limitations on the basis of economic classifications and when it comes to foreign trade, it’s fair to say that out of all leading markets, China has invaded India in multiple aspects.
A vertical stratification from the top-most level to the bottom with thorough analysis, if done, often concludes that China holds the largest market share in most of the products that normal Indian civilians use, be it smart phones or cheap festive commodities and similarly at a higher level, Chinese investment has spread on a macro scale to activities such as funding sports tournaments and UPI payment apps.
Moving on, let’s analyse the 5 major sectors where China has invaded India and its markets to such an extent that its hegemony can be compared to the East India Company:
#1. Mobile Phones And Electronics:
Stating the obvious first, China has invaded India when we talk about smartphones and electronic gadgets. Samsung (a top seller in India for 6 years) and Apple have been quick to surrender to Chinese mega house Xiaomi, which became the top selling smart phone brand in the country’s 4th quarter last year, as it shipped out close to 8.2 million smart phones. Add that to Xiaomi eclipsing the sales of home court player Micromax and you have yourselves a monolith to see.
This makes Xiaomi a direct leader with 27% market share among the Indian user base by focusing on low-cost devices with top features. This move proved to be a masterstroke with Xiaomi looking to invest further in the television department by launching LCDs starting at merely Rs. 14,000.
In all probability, the entrenchment will only increase in the following years.
#2. Sports Tournaments:
To little or no surprise, 3 out of 5 top smartphone brands in the world are Chinese.
The 3rd largest selling smart phone brand in the world is BBK Electronics, which owns two popular brands in India by the name of Vivo and Oppo. With IPL (Indian Premier League) being the flagship club-style tournament in India, it has been reported that a combined investment of over Rs. 3500 crores (close to $5.5 billion) will be made over the next 5 years in cricketing tournaments in India, accounting for about 50% of the investment alone.
Sure, the funding paints a shiny picture on the board but the kind of controversies that are brought about by IPL (hello hello, spot fixing and betting) have tarnished the tournament’s reputation all over the country.
#3. Plastic Commodities And Festive Items:
With a reported price difference over 55% in Holi commodities (as per reports in 2016) such as cheap color and water guns (pichkaari), it is obvious that Indians being the living embodiment of sheep mentality will form a herd towards Chinese products.
Not only this, the Chinese string used to fly kites in India has been banned in the state of Punjab, prompting a nationwide debate not just about foreign markets taking over but the detrimental environmental effects which these cheap products carry via the synthetic materials used for their production.
Chinese colors and plastic products have almost obliterated local manufacturers by being cost effective. Although there has been a significant drop by up to 40% in Diwali products as per ASSOCHAM reports in October 2017, the festive market has always exhibited a swing trend where consumption of such commodities can skyrocket any time and be that as it may, cheap lights and water guns are here to stay even if people are becoming more aware about the damage that firecrackers do.
#4. E-Commerce Portals:
It was widely reported in 2015 that China’s Alibaba Group invested $680 million in One97 Communications which serves as the parent company to PayTm, in an attempt to capitalize on the growing dominance of the app over its contemporaries such as FreeCharge and PayPal.
Alibaba Group had further invested $500 million in SnapDeal, making it one of the prime investors in the New Delhi based E-commerce platform. On paper, this looks good but the question of why we’re letting Chinese brands take over our majorly homegrown brands is beyond my comprehension.
#5. Service Providing Platforms Such As Ola, Byju’s And FlipKart:
With China’s internet mega house Tencent Holdings already investing $700 million in FlipKart, an undisclosed amount in educational brand Byju’s and with a funding of $1.1 billion in collaboration with Japansese corporation SoftBank in Ola Cabs, this has given rise to the belief that China has invaded India from within by targeting its growing start-ups and capitalizing on a user base which craves cost-effective services.
Analyzing the points as mentioned above, the dangerous trend of Chinese investment in Indian businesses poses a great threat to the authenticity of these businesses, as we risk reaching a point where we produce a trickle-down effect on a macro scale and further pedestalize China, virtually rendering most Indian investors and their businesses as defunct.
The growing usage of Chinese devices fuels the data privacy debate even further and with the entrenchment not looking to slow down any time soon, it’s fair to say that China has invaded India and its markets by becoming a modern-day East India Company.
Here’s to a (hopefully) progressive and independent future, because we could definitely use one.
Image Credits: Google Images
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