Diwali 2016: Chinese goods sale dips 40% after boycott call

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Campaigns calling for boycott of Chinese products have impacted sales of those items by up to 40% here with many people preferring to buy India-made products only during their festive shopping.

In the wake of escalating tension between India and Pakistan after the Uri attack, activists have been running campaigns on roads and on social media platform to boycott products from ‘Pakistan’s friend’ China.

A trade body has ascertained that there has been a 30-40% impact on goods like decorative lights which records huge sales during Diwali, whereas a slight impact has also been felt on China-made electronic goods.

“In an internal survey, we found that the sale of decorative Chinese lights and other similar products has declined by 30-40% in recent days. Demand of electronic items like LCDs and others made in China has also declined by 10-15% while this impact is 2% on mobile phones,” Suresh Agrawal, president of Federation of Rajasthan Trade and Industry (FORTI), said.

He said FORTI has been conducting an internal survey for the past several days and members of the federation are giving their feedback on the demand and sale of Chinese products.

“Consumption of Chinese goods has fallen in recent days. Be it decorative items or other product, people are preferring Indian products over Chinese goods. Looking at trend, traders are also avoiding placing orders for Chinese goods,” Ajay Vijayvargiya, secretary of Jaipur Vyapar Mahasangh, said.

Shyam Meena, a decorative light trader from the walled city area, also acknowledged the decline in sale.

“The sale is no doubt down this time. Most of the customers are demanding Indian lights. The impact of the call to boycott Chinese products is high. Last year, I ordered goods worth Rs 10 lakh approximately, but I have not ordered that much (this year),” he said.

Activist Sandeep Gupta said large number of Chinese products ranging from idols, portraits of Hindu Gods and Goddesses to decorative lights which bear no indication of the product being manufactured in China are in the market at cheaper prices, yet people are showing awareness in purchasing the items, said

Gupta, a chartered accountant by profession, takes out a few hours every day to go to the streets and markets to call for the boycott of Chinese products.”Shaheedon ko de do Shradhanjali, China ke Samano ko do Tilanjali (Pay homage to the martyrs, boycott products fromChina) is the slogan written on a banner which he carries with him on a jeep. “Chinese products are sometimes very difficult to identify. The list of Chinese products is very long and people as well as traders will have to show awareness against them. The impact will be visible when the market of electronic goods will be affected,” he said.

Gupta added that the young generation is quite aware on this issue.

“Why should we buy Chinese products, a friend of Pakistan? We will buy Desi things,” an engineering student, Bhaskar Verma, said.

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