Sriraam Selvam: What happens to China brands now?

Covid-19 has impacted the trust quotient in China. Which is why, the PrintWeek team spoke to more than 100 industry leaders to ascertain the fate of Chinese manufacturers. In the first part of this series, we have published ten of the comments.

27 May 2020 | By Sriraam Selvam

Sriraam Selvam is the associate editor at PrintWeek and WhatPackaging? magazines

Meanwhile the China story has not been dented. As per industry reports, Lenovo and Xiaomi have made gains during this period, and the latter has surpassed Huawei to become the third largest smartphone vendor in the world. Based on earnings, Alibaba and Tencent have also been unaffected, except for an expected dip in media advertising. TikTok too has continued its upward trajectory.

As per Surekha Ragavan of Campaign Asia-Pacific, "the State-owned news portal China Daily has claimed that Chinese brands are performing well overseas, owing to China’s international ‘facemask diplomacy’ or its efforts to offer aid and support to markets still heavily stricken by the pandemic. And domestically, some Chinese brands have shown to excel both during and post-outbreak by way of pivoting to digital agility and revised influencer marketing.

Let's hear from ten industry voices about India's perception of China and Chinese brands, and what should the Indian position be.
GN Visvakumar, Rajams Digital says, "To-date there is no alternative to the Chinese coated paper and board, binding materials like PU, solid boards. Till we find alternatives we will have no other choice than buying from them."

M Dinakaran, Dina Digital Prints says, "We don't want to. But based on pricing we may be forced to go with Chinese products. We also hope India and other countries would concentrate now to produce raw materials and machines. If we are able to get better quality at the same price or same quality at a lesser price we would be happy to shift from China. Our main intention is not to increase the pricing for the customer and not to make printing as a luxury to common people."

Manish Hansoti, S Kumar Multi Products says, "It is very subjective. If the product is not available in India, one will have to look at other options."

Meeta Shah, A&M Enterprise says, "We were not into it even before lockdown."

Monica Malhotra-Kandhari, MBD Group says, "We procure 99% raw material from Indian companies, and our machines are German."

Nirav Shah, Letra Graphix says, "All our procurement is always based on the quality of the raw material or machine technology.And that is how it should remain in future as well."

Priyank Vasa, Unick Fix-a-Form says, "Yes. Chinese machines are good and value for money and comparable to European machines. I am not a big fan of Chinese raw material."

Sandeep Jain, Manali Carton says, "I understand there is an anti-China campaign everywhere. We cannot boycott China totally now. But yes, we can always have a plan to exit Chinese dependency in a phased manner."

Tejas Samarth, Sai Paks says, "No way. This will be a good chance for India to produce same specifications as per those Chinese materials rather than importing."

Yash Seth, SK Enterprise says, "Initially to make sure that operations keep running, I will have to purchase the Chinese products till I find an alternate source. But in the long term it is a big ‘No’.

Read Part II here: Sriraam Selvam: What happens to China brands now? - Part II 

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