Border Conflict Does Little to Damp Chinese Phone Sales in India
The OnePlus 8 Pro in ‘glacial green’ colour as pictured on OnePlus’ India website.

Border Conflict Does Little to Damp Chinese Phone Sales in India

OnePlus, a China-based smartphone maker, saw its latest model sold off within minutes in India on Thursday, despite growing calls for boycott of Chinese goods following a border conflict between the Asian neighbors.

The OnePlus 8 Pro mobile phone, which is priced at a significant discount to Apple Inc.’s latest iPhones, was not available on Inc.’s local website just a few minutes after it went on sale. At the same time, #BoycottChineseProducts was among the top Twitter trends in India for almost two days, after the nation’s army said at least 20 of its soldiers lost their lives in a violent standoff with Chinese troops in a contested Himalayan border.

The pace of sales show that weaning away Indians from feature-rich and cheaply priced Chinese products is easier said than done. India relies on China for the bulk of its imports, with purchases in the year ended March running into more than $60 billion. Beijing runs a trade surplus of about $50 billion with New Delhi.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday said the nation will reduce dependence on imports, Ramdas Athawale, a member of Modi’s ministerial panel, went so far as to call for a ban on even restaurants that prepare Chinese food.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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