India's largest traders body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which has been at the forefront of the campaign to boycott Chinese products in India, has appealed to a number of Bollywood celebrities to lend their weight behind the campaign.
CAIT has appealed to stars like Amitabh Bachhan, Akshay Kumar, Shilpa Shetty, Madhuri Dixit, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and Sonu Sood to join hands with it and exert their influence on citizens to dissuade them from buying Chinese products and opt for local made Indian goods instead.
A number of Bollywood celebrities also endorse a host of Chinese brands especially in the electronics sector. CAIT has also appealed to them to stop endorsing these products. The list is long. It has appealed to Aamir Khan and Sara Ali Khan for Vivo mobile phones, Virat Kohli for its IQOO, Deepika Padukone, Sidharth Malhotra, rapper Baadshah and Ranbir Kapoor for Oppo, Ranveer Singh for Xiaomi, Salman Khan, Shraddha Kapoor and Ayushmann Khurrana for Realme to stop endorsing these brands.
"We understand that it is a strategic move of the Chinese to rope in Indian celebrities to endorse products in order to gain more and more control over the Indian retail market by influencing the choice of customers. Indian celebrities command wide acknowledgement among masses because of their talent and calibre," says Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general, CAIT. "We have requested these celebrities to stop endorsing these Chinese brands as a mark of respect for Indian soldiers. At the same time we also invite them to join our campaign."
China is India's second largest trading partner with bilateral trade of over $81.86 billion in 2019-20. Chinese smartphone brands like Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, Realme and One plus also command an over 50 percent share of India's burgeoning smartphone market. The thawing of relations between the two countries over the last couple of months that reached a flashpoint earlier this week when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in action at the Galwan province in Ladakh region has strained economic ties between the two nations.
CAIT, which has more than 40,000 trader bodies under its wing representing over 7 crore retailers and wholesalers in the country has launched a campaign for a complete boycott of Chinese goods. It has also released a preliminary list of 500 of the 3,000 goods that are imported directly from China that it intends to stop selling at its retail stores. In all, the campaign aims to reduce imports from across the border of Rs 100,000 crore ($ 13.3 billion) by December 2021. India imported goods worth $65.26 billion in 2019-20 from China.
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