Foreign Trade

Boycott China's products? Figure this out

First Covid and then border tensions have given fresh impetus to popular calls for not buying Chinese brands. But making do without China’s products is not easy, as data from key sectors show.

Market size: Rs 2 lakh cr

Share of Chinese products: 72%

Possibility of substitution: Very difficult. Chinese brands dominate every price segment and are way ahead in R&D.
​Telecom EquipmentGetty Images
​Telecom Equipment
Market size: Rs 12,000 cr

Share of Chinese products: 25%

Possibility of substitution: Doable, but costly. Telcos could see 10-15% rise in gear procurement costs and lose attractive vendor financing options if they opt for US and European suppliers.
​TelevisionGetty Images
Market size: Rs 25,000 cr

Share of Chinese products:
Smart TVs 42-45%
Non-smart TVs 7-9%

Possibility of substitution: Possibility of substitution: Doable, but expensive. Alternatives to Chinese smart TVs are 20-45% costlier.
​Home AppliancesGetty Images
​Home Appliances
Market size: 50,000 cr

Share of Chinese products: 10-12%

Possibility of substitution: Easy now. But if large Chinese brands enter with much cheaper products, this may change.
​Auto ComponentsAgencies
​Auto Components
Market size: $57 billion

Share of Chinese products: 26%

Possibility of substitution: Tough. Although China accounts for around a quarter of supplies, alternatives domestically or globally will be hard to find.
​Internet AppsGetty Images
​Internet Apps
Market size: 450 million smartphone users

Share of Chinese products: 66%people use at least 1 Chinese app

Possibility of substitution: Easy. But only if Indian users can give up addiction to likes of TikTok. Domestic alternatives have been failures so far.
​Solar PowerGetty Images
​Solar Power
Market size: 37,916 MW

Share of Chinese products: 90%

Possibility of substitution: Almost impossible. Domestic manufacturing weak. Other options costlier.
​SteelGetty Images
Market size: 108.5 MT

Share of Chinese products: 18-20%

Possibility of substitution: Doable, but tough. Finding similarly priced alternatives to some product lines may not be easy.
​Pharma/APIGetty Images
Market size: $2 billion

Share of Chinese products: 60%

Possibility of substitution: Tough. Other sources pricier. And many regulatory hurdles for large domestic chemical factories.

(Source: Industry; analyst estimates)
Note: Chinese products have been defined as those sold by Chinese companies, irrespective of where they are manufactured
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