The economic backlash against China following Monday’s violence in Ladakh — in which 20 Indian soldiers died — continued today with a Chinese firm given a railways contract being show the door. The public utility DFCCIL (Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India) said it was ending the Rs 471-crore contract “in view of poor progress”.
Four years ago, the contract to build signals on a 417-km freight corridor was granted to the Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute of Signal and Communication Group Co. Ltd.
The DFCCIL, which is under the railways ministry, today said in four years, the Chinese company has been able to complete only 20 per cent of the project.
At least four other Chinese firms, which are involved in various railways’ projects, also stand to lose business.
Yesterday, government sources said the Department of Telecom is set to “firmly tell” the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd not to use Chinese equipment in its 4G upgradation in view of security issues.
Sources said the department has also decided to rework the tender in this regard. The government is also considering asking private operators to reduce their dependence on equipment made by Chinese firms.
Following Monday’s clash at Ladakh’s Galwan Valley – the worst in nearly five decades — anti-Chinese sentiment has been sweeping the country. There has been a call to boycott Chinese goods by the all-India traders’ body — the Confederation of All India Traders or CAIT.
It has also appealed to celebrities including Amitabh Bachhan, Akshay Kumar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and Sachin Tendulkar, to stop endorsing Chinese products under its “Bhartiya Saaman – Hamara Abhiman” campaign.
Several Chinese firms have hit pause on scheduled launches and projects in India.
Chinese handset maker Oppo has cancelled the livestream launch of its flagship 5G smartphone in the country. Tech firm Vivo has even postponed the 100 per cent Make in India announcement.