No Buy-Buy, say Bye-Bye to Chinese


I have vivid memory of my teenage son returning with his teammates from the USA after participating in a competition held at NASA, Florida. He arrived clutching his hand bag to his chest as the belt of the bag had snapped due to overstuffing. It was touching  to see small gift items and knick-knacks for everyone in the family tumbling out of his bag, but what intrigued me was that all the souvenirs – stuffed toys, fridge magnets, mugs and other sundry stuff from NASA centre, Disney Land and Universal Studios had one thing in common – made in China label.

A decade and half later, the countries were different but the label on the souvenirs remained the same. This I discovered on a holiday trip to Europe a couple of years ago. I picked up small models of Eiffel tower from France; key chains of trade mark wind mills from Holland and replica of the famous cow-bells from Switzerland without realizing all these were sourced from China, none manufactured in the European nations. Here I can’t help recalling my Australia shopping experience. On my visit to my son in Australia, I bought small gift items for family and friends.  While unpacking my stuff back home in India I realized, though not a shock this time, that the affordable stuff I grabbed happened to be made in China. However, I was pleasantly surprised to notice ‘Made in India’ tag on a set of three fragrant candles that I carried all the way from Sydney. An unforgettable emotional moment for me!

The fact is China has captured the market for hundreds of small knick-knacks, toys, gift items all across the world by supplying at a price and quality which is unbeatable. Today Chinese dominance is not just limited to low end goods, but having made huge strides in technology China has become a  ‘manufacturing hub’, ‘factory’ to the world playing a crucial role in global supply chain. Indian market, too, is flooded with Chinese goods. Even our festive purchases for Diwali and other festivals have been hijacked by Chinese products. Not only low value consumer goods but mobile phones, television sets, computers and many other electronic and electrical gadgets besides critical inputs are being sourced from China.

But how can our business including trade with China be the same when there is tension at the border? There is a sense of outrage against China after twenty of our brave-hearts were brutally killed by Chinese in Galwan valley on June 15.  Boycott China is viral today, but sadly, our actions belie our feelings. Despite popular anger against Chinese transgression, Indian consumers continue to make a beeline for Chinese mobile sets with expensive smart phone models getting sold within no time.

Our patriotism must be reflected in action. Mere chest-thumping, ‘boycott China’ slogans on the social media won’t help. All of this is empty rhetoric unless, we, the consumers use our ‘wallet power’ to demonstrate our love for the country.  It is time to say ‘Bye-Bye’ to Chinese and ‘Buy-Buy’ Indian products.

 (Published Times of on August 27, 2020)


27 Replies to “No Buy-Buy, say Bye-Bye to Chinese”

  1. Rama caption itself is very captivating ‘ No Buy Buy say Bye to Bye to Chinese plus you created an immense interest by beginning the story when my teenage son came back from NASA with little souvenirs for everyone depicting the extreme teenage love put into while selecting the gift and than suddenly you realised all these gifts are made in China
    Truth is that from trinkets to Hi fi gadgets are made in China
    In present scenario after Gulwan valley episode we don’t want to use Chinese good s but we should do in true spirit so that the Chinese economy feels the thump.
    Buy buy Indian goods

    1. Thank you so much Mrs Chopra. I am indeed bowled over the way you have analysed the write-up so beautifully.
      It is a fact that China today is a factory to the world supplying simple, small goods to high tech gadgets.India, too , has been significantly dependent upon Chinese imports.

      But in light of the present scenario, and also the huge trade deficit that the country has with China, ideally we should stop all imports from China immediately, but is neither possible nor desirable. Government has its own compulsions and also the critical supply chain will get disrupted by stopping all imports. We, the consumers , the aam janta can definitely show resolve in shunning Chinese goods.
      Be Indian , Buy Indian.

  2. Absolutely correct Rama!! Action speak louder than words so this outrage will be meaningful only if we Indians implement it practically.

    1. Yes Neelam, you have put it across so beautifully in such a concise manner .Definitely action speaks etter than words.

  3. I agree with you Rama that we should control ourselves while buying and selecting cheaper Chinese goods which are really attractive and superior in
    terms of know-how .Our markets are flooded with these goods. Even if these are withdrawn by the govt,It is going to take lot of time to get the substitute Indian version before we can say final bye bye to them. Spreading awareness regarding this issue by each one of us is required.

    1. Simmi , you have nailed it . Saying bye-bye to Chinese products is easier said than done. With cheaper and attractive options available in Chinese products, it is not an easy choice for the consumer. Also, Indian markets are flooded with Chinese goods. But with renewed tension at border , we will have to change our consumption preferences.

  4. You are absolutely right Jijaji. Not only are Indian markets flooded with Chinese products, most people have no qualm in buying China- made products despite renewed tension at the border.

  5. This is the biggest paradox Rama. We show chest thumping, slogan raising patriotism but when it comes to action we forget everything. You are so right. You have linked the issue to your shopping experience across nations. This makes it a very interesting read.
    I love reading your articles. I wonder how I missed this one. Facebook shows selective posts.
    Good you reminded.
    Wonderful read as always and leaves something to ponder upon. Keep writing Rama.

  6. Dear Rama, you write so well.. The paradox is evident…patriotism or high pitched slogans are on one side and pocket friendly purchases on the other end of scale so patriotism takes a back seat…you have rightly said that Diwali lights are a clear cut proof ….we may keep on marvelling but China has made inroads every where….keep on writing you voice common sentiments so effectively …stay blessed

    1. Thank you so much. It is no less than a blessing for me that you not only read the piece but also chose to write your comments.
      I am so so happy to know your take on the subject, so realistic..highlighting the paradox.

  7. That is absolutely true. China has captured the entire market. We all need to act rather than just posting the slogans on social media. We should increase the demand for goods manufactured in our country . It will eventually improve the economic condition of our nation.

    1. Yes Khushneet, our action should speak louder than our words. Preference for the indigenous products will be a boost to the domestic industry and economy.

  8. As always beautiful and picturesque narration of Chinese capturing the world market in a big way.. the need of the hour is to seriously promote Indian artisans’ creations even though they may be made of clay..let us take a pledge to illuminate our houses with clay diyas made by the small time diya wallas and candles made by under privileged artists…
    Rama you will be surprised to know that we have never ever used Chinese lariyan for diwali we use mustard oil diyas and candles only..

    1. Thank you so much Mrs Dhawan.
      How nice ! I am so happy to know that there are people like you who have been patronizing Indian artisans much before the Prime-Minister coined the slogan ‘Vocal for local’ However, I must admit I have been guilty of illuminating my home on Diwali with Chinese fancy lights . Not that I didn’t try, but Indian lights are not available in the market. In fact , Indian manufacturers stopped producing fairy lights because they couldn’t stand in competition.
      Definitely, we must promote local artisan .No more purchase of Chinese products.

  9. I fully endorse the idea of buying the locally made products as this will give employment to our own people.
    However your article reminds me of anecdote. A couple of years back in UK, I went to an electronic store to buy a steam iron which was made in U K but I could not find any.Then I contacted the manager and to my utter surprise,she told me that everything in the store is made in China irrespective of the label Murphy Richard or Phillips. In the evening I told my son about this and he said that even Apple products like laptop,I phone and I pad etc.are made in China. The respective companies provide the technology to the Chinese who make theses products.
    In India the electronic products like kettles, toasters fans etc.made by Bajaj or Usha are of very good quality and we should buy only these.

    1. Oh yes Mrs Rahi ! There is Chinese domination all across the world. This is what I have tried to delve into in the initial paragraphs of the write-up. Indian market too is flooded with Chinese products. Indeed it is a challenge to stop buying products from China, easier said than done, especially in case of critical dependence on China for crucial inputs.
      Of course , patronizing Indian products will not only promte employment in the country but also reduce huge trade deficit with China.

  10. Madam,your blogs are actually viewpoint of a common Indian. I also boycott the Chinese products.
    Recently, an electrician came to repair my refrigerator. He said”This fridge is 100%chinese ,only its brand is Indian.So,it doesn’t have longevity. I was shocked and asked’Which Indian fridge should I purchase for my daughter.?’ He said”All fridge available in our country are actually Chinese’
    Surprisingly worried!

    1. Yes Garima, this is the bitter reality. Most of the so called Indian brands are not actually producing most of the electrical and electronic items in the country but are just assembly units- Chinese products in Indian Avtar!

  11. Dear Rama you have become an established writer. Your article is so absorbing, one does not like take a pause . Your way of putting things is superb
    Chine haS captured the world market The ink Cartage that I put in the printer is Chinese . We should take a vow to get rid of Chinese products any how.

    1. Thank you so much Ms Luthra . I feel humbled .
      Yes, we must boycott Chinese products, bu there are challenges given the stark reality.As consumers we will have to ignore price-quality consideration to favour domestic products.
      Given the continued border tension with China ,it high time we stop buying Chinese stuff.

  12. Absolutely..!! There should be no difference in words and actions.
    The title is eye catching and ofcourse you used words in a very beautiful way.🌸

    1. Thanks Simran . With continued tension at the border business cannot be the same with China. Patriotism demands that we should shun Chinese products, but as a student of economics you understand what a big challenge it is.

  13. An excellent write up, as usual.
    You are very correct. Mere rhetoric on the part of official, mass and social media will not serve the purpose.
    Strong political will and sincere implementation on the part of govt and firm determination on the part of we consumers are needed to say ‘bye bye ‘to unwarranted Chinese goods .
    Otherwise ‘Be lndian, Buy India’and
    ‘Boycott China’ stickers, too, will be printed through Chinese mass production production.

    1. Thank you so much ma’ less than a blessing for me that my economics ma’am from whom I have inherited love for the subject has read the piece.
      Yes ma’am , it is quite possible ‘Boycott China’ stickers produced in China may be selling in India.

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