Chinese Phones – Can We Boycott or Not?

Chinese Phones – Can We Boycott or Not?

The recent situation at the border with China has angered many Indian citizens and the people of India are now ready to boycott Chinese products in order to show China it’s resistance. This concept of banning Chinese products has been circulating for a few years on WhatsApp.

But, from the past few days, Sonam Wangchuk (the inspiration for Amir Khan’s character in 3 idiots), has been appealing the people of India to boycott Chinese products because of the infiltration by Chinese troops in Ladakh region. His slogan for his movement is “Software in a week, Hardware in a year” according to which the Chinese software should be boycott within a week and hardware should be boycott within a year.

This appeal has created a wave to boycott Chinese products, people are now more motivated than ever to boycott brands based in China. With people already boycotting Chinese apps and also willing to stop buying Chinese smartphones too, the brands operating in India are trying to findthe best possible way to deal with it and ensure that there market shares stay unaffected from it.

This boycott China movement is going to the companies that are China based such as Xiaomi, Realme, Oppo, Vivo, Honor, Motorola and OnePlus too. The biggest beneficiaries of this movement are brands like Apple, Samsung and Nokia which are though not Chinese but have its majority of parts getting manufactured in China.

Let’s have a look and try to understand the situation.

The Opportunity to Increase Market Share

With people boycotting Chinese products, a great opportunity has arise for companies such as Samsung, Apple and Nokia to increase their market share. These companies have a chance to be the alternatives to these Chinese brands. However, Samsung being Samsung, hasn’t been able to take actual benefits from it and is now resorting to its older strategy where it launches smartphones with older hardware at a price higher than its Chinese counterparts that are offering better hardware at a lower price.

The recent smartphones launched by Samsung, that are M01, M11 and A31 are the ones launched under this strategy only. In M01, Samsung is providing Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 processor which had been launched by Xiaomi in Redmi 7A an year ago. Moreover, on M11, the processor is even older than 2 years which is not at all acceptable at a price of 10,999. Also, with A31, Samsung is providing the same chip it provided in M21 and M31 at a higher price as it is an offline product.

The Threat of Losing the Market Share

There are multiple companies who are threatened by this movement of boycotting Chinese products. These companies are the ones from China that have been pretty successful in India. These companies need not to mentioned again but the names are Oppo, Vivo, Realme, OnePlus and Xiaomi. All these companies collectively occupy more than 65% of the market which basically means that 2 out of every 3 smartphone user in India uses a phone from a Chinese brand.

These brands are pretty aware of thismovement and are trying their best to portray themselves as Indian. Look at the tweet below by POCO India.

Chinese Phones – Can We Boycott or Not?

This tweet shows that the companies are understanding that their market share is in danger and can get affected by this movement.

Though the movement has put them in danger but they all have a USP which other non-Chinese brands don’t have which is, providing higher specs device at a lesser profit margin. By providing Value for Money products only, these brands have been able to increase their market share to such a large extent.

All now rests on the consumers, post lockdown, we will see ifthis Boycott movement is as effective as it sounds.

Related: Buying a smartphone above 20k isn’t that cool anymore – Here’s why

Actual Condition/Reality

While all of us show our full support to the Boycott Chinese Products, it is also true that the same is not easy. Almost everything in our daily lives is either made in China or sourced from China. In smartphones too, it is the same. The only way to boycott Chinese products in the smartphone industry is by boycotting smartphones altogether which is not at all feasible.

When we talk about the smartphone industry, another fact that should not be ignored is that many Chinese companies have, in many incidents in the past, compromised with their customer’s privacy. Be it the monitoring of user data in Incognito Mode in Xiaomi’s Mint Browser or a trojan in CamScanner and many others, there has always been incidents of data theft and other issues which casts adoubt on the reliability of these companies.

Chinese Phones – How to deal with them?

After discussing all the aspects we could think of, it is now the time to think if we can actually boycott Chinese phones.

See, we can’t boycott or ban any Chinese company in India. The simple reason being the great value products these companies produce. Non-Chinese companies like Samsung, Nokia or Apple don’t provide such value product but in fact, charge pretty high for an older hardware. For instance, Nokia, like Samsung, launched two devices recently, namely Nokia 6.2 and 7.2, both of these mentioned devices had Snapdragon 636 and 660 processors respectively which were present in phones launched in late 2018.

The truth is, we can only minimize the use of Chinese phones and any other product and abandon them slowly and not in a day. We will have to slowly stop using Chinese products and find its alternative. Meanwhile, we should also understand that not everyone can afford the high priced non-Chinese products. Also, one thing to keep in mind before boycotting is that these Chinese brands employ thousands of people in their plants located in India

So, it is better to slowly minimize the usage of Chinese products as a boycott is not possible.

Concluding Words

So, at last what we can say is we have to reduce our dependency on not just Chinese but other foreign products and act wisely. We should not force others to stop using products if the other person is unable to afford it. The motive is to be independent rather than boycotting foreign products.

Do you agree with this? Or have any other thoughts? Do share it in the comments section below. We would like to hear your opinion on this issue.

Personally, I would try to buy products from other non-Chinese brands too as I have been using Chinese smartphones for 3 years now.

Here’s a small question for my readers, would it still be called as boycotting Chinese products if I buy second hand Chinese phones? Is it okay or not? I am in an actual dilemma regarding this, I would be grateful to you if you can help me in this.

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