- A non-violent online war breaks out on the twitter platform with #BoycottChina and #BoycottChineseProducts.
- Remove China Apps, which gained 4.8 rating and crossed 1 million downloads in just two weeks, hiked the Boycott by identifying the Chinese Apps on devices.
- Line of Actual Control (LAC) dispute, COVID-19 and Trade Wars are the major reasons which energized the movement.
- Remove China Apps has been removed from Google Play Store as of 2nd June 2020.
Table of Contents:
- What is Boycott China?
- Causes which Provoked the Slogan
- Current Story of Indo-China Dispute
- Data Science Report
1. What is Boycott China?
Boycott China is a battle cry erupted online on twitter with the objective to quit the purchase and use of Chinese products. This slogan erupted with #MadeChinaPay or #BoycottTikTok from 31st of March 2020. Eventually it transformed to #BoycottChina or #BoycottChineseProducts or #BoycottMadeInChina till the last week of May 2020.
Anti-china sentiment is followed by many countries named Philippines, Vietnam, USA and India. In next section we will see the reasons behind the eruption of slogans.
2. Causes which Provoked the Slogan
Back to back acts of disturbing other countries by spreading COVID-19 pandemic, developing crisis across the world and covering the real fact is creating a cold war. This deadly spreading coronavirus rose from Wuhan, a city of China in November 2019 and infected 6,850,000+ people with 389,000+ death cases in just 7 months. Now, India is at 5th position with 236,000+ cases and 6,650 death cases.
In April 2020 when India was totally locked down and some countries like Italy, United States, Germany, Spain were in the waiting list at the door of china to get medical equipment supply (masks, gloves, coveralls, goggle etc.) when they were deeply impacted by this pandemic. At that time of crisis China raised the cost of equipment considerably. Moreover China had been heard to buy the shares un foreign markets while other countries are busy fighting the pandemic.
China is the supplier for raw materials required for the manufacturing of Hydroxychloroquine. In this tough time, China has rose the cost of raw materials. India is supplying the largest quantity of this drug to the world, and it is a major importer of these raw materials.
Not only this, when countries were struggling against COVID-19 and China being the main supplier, supplied 50,000 poor quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits to India and other countries which were useless.
Above steps suggest that China has aimed to top off its economy rather than helping other nations during the pandemic. As a result, their aim exploded against them as a challenge and provoked most of the people around the world to Boycott China.
Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) boosted the PM Modi’s mantra of self-reliant India for social welfare which has been joined by people of 15 countries including America, Australia, France, Germany, Japan and Nepal also.
More than thousand organizations want to shift their companies to India and about 300 signed on paper also.
Several countries which followed anti-China sentiment, believe that Coronavirus is a result of biological experiments done in the Chinese lab. Although, no proof has been found to support this claim, still the activities of China during the pandemic raise questions.
As far as relationship with India is concerned, a battle is fought in 1960s between these two most populous nations. Besides this China has border disputes with India and several other nations Japan, Taiwan, Russia being fee of them. The frequent border tensions between India and China are summarised in the following table.
|1||(20 October-20 November) 1962||Himalayan border dispute with many other issues.|
|2||(11 September-15 September)1967||Clashes at Nathu La|
|3||1 October 1967||Clashes at Cho La|
|5||June 2017||China India border standoff or Doklam standoff|
Current situations suggest that on the trade front, China is being opportunistic while the world economies are collapsing down. The same situation is visible in border disputes.
In the current situation China is also planning the extradition of Hong Kong. Many of the Hong Kong activists advocate freedom from China. This has raised tension in the region. Vietnam and Tibbet are are amongst other regions which have been captured by China and want freedom from it.
4. Current Story of Indo-China Dispute
India-China dispute is continuously accelerating since 5th May of 2020. Thousands of troops of the world’s most populous countries standoff on both sides of LACDS-DBO. It is a road in eastern Ladakh of India constructed by India’s Border Road Organization (BRO) between 2000 and 2019. India’s attempt at Border area infrastructure after completion of Darbuk-Shayok-Daulat Beg Oldie (DS-DBO) bothered China. As a result, their army invaded 3-4 kms in Indian territory, at Galwan Valley river, in Ladakh sector. This road connects the capital of Ladakh named Leh city, to Shyok at southern Shyok Valley and passes through the village of Darbuk. As per the information, Chinese army arrived in large numbers in Indian territory (Galwan River valley) and planned a long-term patrol by carrying sufficient defense facilities. This has resulted into escalation of tension.
To defuse this border dispute which is attaining momentum day by day, top generals of India and China armies held a meeting on 6th of July 2020, outcomes of which are yet to be conveyed.
4.1. Remove China App
During the time while the world is perplexed with the moves of China, Remove China Apps emerged as one of the top Apps on Google Play Store. It was able to earn a 4.8 rating and crossed 1 million downloads within a few days. It has been removed from Google Play Store. Google has stated that it opposes the Google play Developer policy which claims that they don’t allow apps to engage directly or indirectly in promotion practices. And Remove China Apps identified china apps and promoted Anti-china sentiment. However, several people still find it hard to digest.
5. Data Science Reports
In this section we will see the strength of anti-China sentiment in the data. We have analyzed the data from 2000 most recent tweets to accomplish this.
5.1. Keyword Analysis
Here, tweets are analyzed to understand the trend. Keyword frequency is represented in form of word cloud where keyword with maximum frequency is represented in largest size and word with lower frequency has smaller size. One can see that the Boycott China has Hong Kong issue and dispute with India as major impacts(ccp, Indian etc keywords). We can find that ‘shirt’ is also a major keyword. When we investigated around the world we found that it is trending because of the clever business strategy of chinese garment companies. It is funny to find that China itself is manufacturing shirts and caps with the ‘Boycott China’ slogan.
5.2. Sentiment Analysis
Here, tweets are clustered in three sentiments named positive, neutral and negative. These tweets were posted between 1st May and 6th June of 2020.
This bar graph shows that within last one month, 56.8% of the total collected tweets (for our analysis) were tweeted positively whereas 27.7% show negatively sentiments. It’s also found that around 15.5% of these tweets represent neither of these two sentiments, at all.
In our study we observed that Anti-China sentiment is a challenge to China as a result of their selfish behavior in this tough time. This sentiment is becoming more and more powerful day by day. Eight countries have formed an alliance June 6th, to counter China. This suggests the strength of the moves.
The time is suggesting a shift of economic power and several other countries will gain new opportunities as the focus moves away from China.