At a time when India is fuming over China’s June 15 misadventure in the Galwan valley region, calls for a complete social boycott of Chinese goods have only grown from strength to strength. With the banning of 59 Chinese apps, the Government of India has demonstrated its intent to lead the way when it comes to systematically cutting down trade relations with China, in a manner that the paper dragon feels the pinch; while India ramps up its own manufacturing capabilities, thereby solidifying its own economy and making it independent of Chinese dumping.
This has not stopped a few overenthusiastic Youtubers from promoting, or what they call, ‘unboxing’ and marketing Chinese smartphones.
While some of these individuals have wholeheartedly supported the government’s decision to ban Chinese apps, including TikTok, one cannot help but wonder as to what is keeping such video creators and tech analysts from leading the way, and collectively putting an end to the subtle promotion of Chinese smartphones. Not only are such explanatory videos of Chinese smartphones insensitive at a time when the nation is locked in a standoff with China, but it also shows how some people are unwilling to put the nation over monetary gains.
Smartphone brands like Xiaomi, Redmi, One Plus, Oppo, Poco, Vivo among others, occupy a major space of such YouTubers’ channels. The bulk of the focus remains on ‘unboxing’ Chinese phones. They might argue that since Chinese smartphones occupy a major part of the Indian market, such a disproportionate analysis of their phone becomes a natural compulsion. Some of these YouTubers have also resorted to promoting Chinese electronic goods such as Television sets on their channels.
Poco is now emerging as the new smartphone sensation, going by the heavy coverage which almost every tech Youtuber is providing to their smartphones, or it might just be the company pumping in money to get the said coverage.
Whatever the reasons, Poco is being touted as a purely Indian company, only because it is “Made in India”. As a matter of fact, Poco was, or perhaps still is a sub-brand of Xiaomi.
Although the company now claims to be independent, details continue to remain shady at best.
These tech Youtubers have the potential to influence consumer choice. That they are not doing so to push people to buy Indian products, and are instead working overtime to promote Chinese goods, is disappointing.
Why can these Youtubers not strive to influence Indians to buy local smartphones? If the common man can refrain from buying Chinese, why can those with tremendous digital reach not do the same? Merely riding the wave and applauding the government for banning 59 Chinese apps will do no good, if such rampant marketing of Chinese smartphones continues unabated.