A hue and cry over souring India-China relations may have led to large-scale boycott of China-made products during Diwali festivities, but Chinese products seem to have made a comeback in the market during Christmas. While shopkeepers have their own reasons for stocking up on Chinese imports — from the unavailability of made-in-India products for Christmas decorations to the cheaper price of Chinese substitutes — shoppers seem to be least concerned about these. During Diwali, the situation was strikingly different as a boycott of Chinese products had led to a major drop in sales for distributors and retailers across the country.
Bharat Prajapati, owner of Trupti Traders in Bohri Ali market, said, “People have forgotten about boycotting Chinese products this time… I think demonetisation is the reason. The Chinese products cost very little, in the range of Rs 10-Rs 150, which is very low compared to the price of Indian products. So, people buy them without any hesitation”.
The unavailability of made-in-India Christmas products is also a reason behind the markets being flooded with Chinese goods.
“The unavailability of Indian products for Christmas has left wholesalers as well as retailers with no option but to sell Chinese products. Important items like Christmas trees and their decorations are not manufactured in India and that compels us to import goods from China,” said Mustafa Sabhuwala, owner of The Party Shop in Raviwar Peth.
Indian products also take a beating in the field of innovation, said shopkeepers.
Items like white Christmas trees, Santa Claus balloons of various sizes as well as ‘Dancing Santa’ are the big attractions this year, and all of them have come from Chinese markets, said Lorelei Vandergucht, owner of Party Hunterz at Koregaon Park.
“These products are not made by Indian companies, which leaves us with no other option but to sell Chinese goods. People have been buying them as well, so there is a demand in the market also,” she said.
However, Alka Jalan, a wholesale trader in Bohri Ali market, said some products are available in both Chinese and Indian versions. “The quality of Indian products is better, and that’s why many customers ask for them, even though they are expensive compared to their Chinese counterparts,” she said.