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Indian consumers want imported Chinese products to clear quality standards: Survey

Amid India-China tension over Doklam region, Indians respondents said every importer of Chinese products must be required by law to display ‘Made in China’ prominently on their products for consumers to make an informed decision.

india Updated: Aug 08, 2017 22:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Chinese goods,Doklam,Doklam standoff
Activists of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, a right wing organization that promotes indigenous products, burn portraits of Chinese President Xi Jinping during a protest in New Delhi.(AP File Photo)

People want a better screening of a number of Chinese products that enter Indian markets and said they must pass the Indian quality standards before they are available at their local shops amid an ongoing standoff between India and China at Doklam in Sikkim, says an online survey.

Indian and Chinese soldiers are locked in a standoff since June 16, with Beijing accusing New Delhi of trespassing and preventing its soldiers from building a road in disputed region of Doklam, or Donglang as the Chinese call it. The Chinese have taken an aggressive stand on the border impasse and has even warned of a war.

From needles to toys, electronic gadgets to idols and crackers, a Chinese version of everything is available in the Indian markets at a cheaper price. Most products are cheap and their quality is not up to the mark. But Indian consumers buy them anyway.

A recent series of detailed surveys conducted by citizens’ engagement portal LocalCircles point out at the various aspects of import of Chinese goods into India, their categories, and people’s perception about Chinese imports in India.

In the first survey, out of the 8,689 respondents, 38% said they mostly buy Chinese consumer durables such as mobile phones and other electronic items and 15% said they buy home utility and decoration items while 10% gift items. And 37% said they buy Chinese goods across all these categories.

In their next survey, LocalCircles found 83% of 8,973 people prefer a Chinese product over its Indian version as they believe they are cheaper and that Indian goods are quite expensive.

Out of the 8,213 people who voted in the third survey, 52% said Indian products are of far more superior quality than the Chinese version, 21% said China made items were better in quality than the Indian made and 17% said both are more or less similar in quality. And, 10% were unsure about their choice.

As Indians are becoming aware of their rights as consumers they have reported numerous quality concerns about Chinese products. Most of the participants in the fourth poll, which got 9,099 votes, said they wanted a better screening of goods before they land up in the Indian market.

In response, 36% said import of only those Chinese products should be allowed to be sold that meet the standards of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and 33% said imports in hazardous and risk products category should not be allowed at all. And 29% said compliance and audit at import points in India should be increased and a small 2% were not sure about their preference.

In the fifth poll, 96% people said every importer of Chinese products must be required by law to display ‘Made in China’ prominently on their products for consumers to make an informed decision. Of the 8,928 people who responded to the poll, only 3% did not think it was necessary and 1% was not sure about it.

The last poll asked people what should India’s strategy be going forward to reduce the huge trade deficit.

Of the 9,217 people who voted, 56% of these said Chinese imports in some product categories should be banned and 21% wanted more product categories to be opened for exports. Another 21% wanted the government to work towards opening e-commerce supplies from India to Chinese consumers and 2% did not answer the question.

First Published: Aug 08, 2017 21:49 IST