The prevailing bilateral frost between India and China is having a chilling effect on local trade as the south Asian nation prepares to celebrate its annual festival of colours.
Around 60 million members of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) have called for the boycott of Chinese goods on the eve of Holi, one of India’s most popular festivals. Some business owners even plan to use such products to make the traditional bonfire—Holi symbolises the burning of an evil demon in Hindu mythology—today (March 19) across 1,500 locations in the country.
The row only highlights the significance Chinese products have assumed in Indian trade and other areas.
“The entire garment and electronics industries are highly dependent on China. Lots of Chinese apps like TikTok are gaining traction, too,” said Yugal Joshi, vice-president of Texas-based consultancy Everest Group. Four out of five of the top smartphones in India are China-made. Even plastic buckets, idols of Hindu gods and goddesses, and winter coats are mostly manufactured in China.
It might be late to the party, but the Swedish music streaming app Spotify is trying really hard to make up for the lost time in India.
The Stockholm-based company launched in the country yesterday (Feb. 27) with freebies and affordable rates to woo price-sensitive Indians, besides announcing plans to go more vernacular. Among other things, Spotify’s ad-free monthly subscription is available in India for Rs119 ($1.67), significantly lower than the $9.99 in the US. In fact, premium plans start at just Rs13 for a daylong subscription.
“India is a price sensitive market and we love freebies. Spotify is trying to exploit this sentiment and I believe this is a smart move,” said Yugal Joshi, vice-president at the consulting firm Everest Group.
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