Strategies Employed by Chinese Brands to Re-enter the Indian Market Despite the Ban

Editor - CyberMedia Research

Editor - CyberMedia Research

India has been actively implementing bans on Chinese-origin apps, such as TikTok and PUBG, with over one hundred apps removed from all app stores in 2020. These bans were primarily aimed at curbing the transfer of consumer data to Chinese servers. However, allegations of political motivations behind these bans have surfaced. Regardless of the reasons, Chinese brands are now finding ways to relaunch their apps in India after a three-year ban.

Case Study 1: Shein – Partnerships and Innovations

Shein, a popular fast-fashion brand, was among the early casualties of the Indian government’s ban, resulting in a significant loss of its customer base. Recent reports from the Wall Street Journal suggest a potential partnership between Shein and Reliance’s retail arm. While details are still emerging, it is speculated that Shein will now source raw materials from Indian producers and establish production hubs within the country. Additionally, Shein has relocated its headquarters to Singapore. By adopting this approach and collaborating with Reliance, Shein, originally a Chinese brand, presents itself as a Singapore-based entity and aims to create ‘Made in India’ products—a strategy seemingly aligned with the Indian government’s expectations.

Case Study 2: BGMI – Adaptation and Collaboration

BGMI, a popular mobile game developed by Krafton, faced a ban along with PUBG due to its strong ties to Chinese investors, despite Krafton being based in South Korea. However, BGMI recently obtained a trial license for three months. During this period, the company is actively working with the Indian IT sector to establish a sustainable operating model.

The Future of App Bans

It is evident that given sufficient time, most of the banned apps will find ways to re-enter the Indian market. Shein and BGMI are paving the way for other brands by employing strategies such as supporting the local economy through partnerships, sourcing materials locally, and offering innovative solutions. However, in these cases, the Indian government’s concern about consumer data privacy seems to have diminished.

As the market evolves, companies will likely continue to adapt and collaborate to navigate app bans successfully. It is crucial for businesses to understand the evolving landscape and explore viable approaches to reintroduce their apps to the Indian market.