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Chinese Products Sales may Decline 40-45 % this Diwali: Assocham

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Chinese products
Shops selling Firecrackers in Diwali. Flickr
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New Delhi, October 9: Be it decorative items like lights, gift items, lamps and wall hangings or other product, the sale of Chinese products is likely to decline by 40-45 per cent this Diwali as compared to last year, a survey by Assocham-Social Development Foundation (ASDF) said here on Monday.

“There has been a 40-45 per cent impact on goods like decorative lights which records huge sales during Diwali, whereas a slight impact has also been seen on China-made electronic goods like mobile phones etc. As per the paper, the demand of electronic items like LCDs, mobile phones and others items made in China has also declined by 15-20 per cent,” said Assocham Secretary General D.S. Rawat.

The industry chamber said it has interacted with wholesalers, retailers, traders in cities of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chennai, Dehradun, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow and Mumbai to estimate the demand for Chinese products across India.

According to an estimate, the value of Chinese goods sold in 2016 during Diwali was around Rs 6,500 crore. Out of the total, over Rs 4,000 crore was Diwali-related items such as toys, fancy lights, gift items, plastic ware and decorative goods among many other items.

The most sought after Chinese items are fancy lights, lampshades, Ganesha and Laxmi idols, rangolis and crackers. As per findings of the survey, this Diwali, people are preferring Indian products over Chinese goods.

The paper said according to the shopkeepers, most of the customers are demanding Indian lights.

“There was a huge demand for made in China fancy lights in the market but it is also decreasing. Also, the quality of Chinese products is also questionable with no shopkeeper giving any sort of guarantee on Chinese items once sold. Firecrackers made at Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu are preferred in comparison to Chinese crackers,” stated the report.(IANS)

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Chinese Lighting Takes Potters and Small Businesses for a Blow This Diwali

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Chinese lightings
Chinese lightings. Pixabay

Oct 08, 2017: Diwali is round the corner and households have started their Diwali shopping long before the month started. Just like any other festival in India, Diwali is also celebrated with the same zeal and enthusiasm and maybe a little more.

Chinese lighting
Lightning diyas on Diwali. Pixabay

For years, our families have celebrated the festival of lights with traditional rituals, decorations, and food items but with globally influenced markets in motion, this has declined drastically.

Chinese lighting
Chinese lights. Pixabay

In the recent decade, we see more and more Chinese lights and bulbs being sold in the markets for decoration; people have minimized or almost stopped the purchase of traditional Diyas and handicrafts for Diwali.

India is the largest market for Chinese products but also the largest negatively affected the economy by the selling of these products.

The Problem

Chinese lightings
Handicraft shop in Janpath market, New Delhi. Wikimedia

Handicrafts businesses and potters in India face the wrath of Chinese products the most during Diwali. On one side where the festival is all about traditional values and customs, customers choose to buy cheap and fancy Chinese lighting to decorate their homes instead of handmade diyas or Indian decorative items. The reasons traced behind this loss have been many all which trace back to the globalized market in India.

Customers opt for Chinese lighting as they’re durable and can be used the next year as well; on the other hand, they don’t what to do with used diyas after the 3-4 day Diwali commitment. The increasing cost of Oil has also resulted in the shift from traditional lighting to Chinese illuminators and candles.

In the past 5 years, the prices of diyas have also shot up considerably which results in the reluctance of the buyers. Potters in New Delhi complain about the availability of Clay which is used in the making of traditional diyas, they have to travel to Haryana or Rajasthan to get their hands on it whereas previously it was available in Delhi itself. With the onset of the new market system, potters have no other choice than to increase their prices to meet the supply and demand chain. Families used to prefer simple earthen lamps but with the variety available on Chinese lights and products, the shift is towards the buying of fancy Chinese products.

The Consequences 

Small businesses of pottery and clay diyas face the most loss when from being the most crowded shops during Diwali now hardly get a customer or two. And the sad part is, even if the Chinese products cost more than a simple elegant diya; buyers are ready to buy the former because it’s more convenient to buy lights from a mall or retail shop than a roadside vendor with his earthen material.

The mall culture has inevitably brought the diya business to an all-time low.

Chinese lighting
Boycott Chinese products. Wikimedia

In 2016, a campaign was ruled out to boycott Chinese products with support from BJP and AAP in India which resulted in many Indian households to switch back to the traditional clay Diya. With almost 80% drop of the production of earthen products dropping over the year, this campaign which was started on Facebook was an initiative to bring back the essence of Diwali – Traditionalism. The drop in sales of the products had also resulted in potters and handicraftsmen to change professions to which the government fails to take a step against.

Chinese lighting has hijacked the Indian market, leaving potters grief-stricken as their businesses fail to prosper.

Prepared  by Tanya Kathuria of Newsgram ; Twitter : @TanyaKathuria97