Corona Virus that originated in Wuhan Province of China in 2019 has completely shaken the world and its economies. Is this Virus really a Bioweapon and was it stolen from a Canadian Laboratory? There are also undisputed reports on the nexus between Chinese establishment and World Health Organisation. Did WHO tow the line of Chinese? Are the Chinese really using this as an opportunity to expand their economic dominance over the world. These are few questions that keeps striking the mind frequently.
Let us validate and understand if Chinese are dominant only in the Manufacturing domain (or) are they expanding their foot prints in other areas as well? Can India afford to challenge China in a Trade War. Can India turn out to be an alternate destination if the World Order decides to Shift its manufacturing focus away from China? Can Indian Start Up system live up to the expectation of the World and Challenge the Chinese?
China over the last 2 decades dominated the Manufacturing Industry and sold their manufactured products all over the World. Post 2008 Slowdown, Chinese channelised their focus towards Technology and penetrated into all segments of Technology even to the extent of challenging the might of FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google).
On the other side India Progresses like never before post independence in terms of overall Development under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi. India over the last 5years have seen tremendous change but has it built the capabilities to challenge China in the manufacturing space is a question that only time can answer.
China is very active in India in the start-up space focussed mainly on in Finance Tech (Fin-Tech), Retail & E-commerce, Media & Social Media, Aggregation Services, Tourism & Logistics. Majority of Start Ups with a valuation of over $1 billion in India are funded by Chinese and has a Prominent Chinese Investor. Chinese investments in India’s soft sectors, such as smartphones and apps, shines like a diamond necklace around India. Major reason for this is India still does not have a Sequoia or Google of its own.
Start Up’s over the last few years have grown aggressively in India and it is creating impact in every field. BUT it is important to note that India’s lost opportunity is China’s growth story in India. Yes you have heard it right!!! Let’s refer some facts and figures. India may have sidestepped the physical Chinese corridor, but has got trapped into Chinese virtual corridor.
The last decade has seen heavy investments from Chinese companies into India, over $5 billion in 2018. Alarming are the investments by China’s powerful BAT companies (Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent) in soft power projects in India – Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and Fin-tech. It is indeed alarming because the People’s Liberation Army of China and the Communist Party of China have a symbiotic relationship with China’s BAT, the makers of strategic domestic and overseas investments.
China’s strategic investments in data-oriented services in India raise concerns, making it critical for India’s security agencies to pay attention to these soft power projects in India. They are prevalent at various levels, particularly in the digital sector in India (Apps, Browser & Streaming Services).
So while emotions are running high majorly due to Corona Virus exported from China. Is Boycott an option for Indians?? India has not participated in China’s Belt and Road Initiative and has yet to take a final decision on allowing Huawei into India’s 5G telecom. But through these investments in start-ups, India may find its economy tied ever closer to China.
The fight Post Corona will be very challenging. Will Indian Start Up’s that grew up on its own fall Prey to Chinese Investments post corona lockdown? Let’s hope to support them and simultaneously work on a mechanism to protect MSME’s & emerging start ups from getting acquired by the Chinese.
Few measures have to be taken immediately to stop further acquisition.
- Significant changes (A full cycle reform) in Policies to Promote MSME’s which are the backbone of India’s Growth Story.
- Support & Promote Swadeshi Tech Companies (Eg : Zoho)
- Create a centralised FDI screening mechanism for the IT-BPO industry.
- Form a Inter-agency committee to review foreign investments involving the collection of sensitive personal data
- Implement Data localisation Policy
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