China quietly has created a significant place for itself in India in the last five years – in the technology domain. Unable to persuade India to sign on to its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China has entered the Indian market through venture investments in start-ups and penetrated the online ecosystem with its popular smartphones and their applications (apps).
Chinese tech investors have put an estimated $4 billion into Indian start-ups. Such is their success that over the five years ending March 2020, 18 of India’s 30 unicorns are now Chinese-funded. TikTok, the video app, has 200 million subscribers and has overtaken YouTube in India. Alibaba, Tencent and ByteDance rival the U.S. penetration of Facebook, Amazon and Google in India. Chinese smartphones like Oppo and Xiaomi lead the Indian market with an estimated 72%1 share, leaving Samsung and Apple behind.
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Amit Bhandari is Fellow, Energy and Environment Studies at Gateway House
Blaise Fernandes is Board Member, Gateway House, and President & CEO, The Indian Music Industry.
Aashna Agarwal is former Researcher, Gateway House.
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