With both India and China having withdrawn their forces from their positions along the Pangong Tso in Eastern Ladakh, after nearly eight months of a tense stand-off that raised the spectre of war between two of Asia’s largest nuclear-armed states, the path may soon be paved for business as usual to return.
According to a Reuters report citing industry and government sources, India could clear 45 investment proposals from China, likely including those from Great Wall Motor and SAIC, with most of the firms being in the non-sensitive manufacturing sector.
Last year, Great Wall had made a joint proposal with General Motors (which wound up operations at its Talegaon at the end of 2020) to acquire its plant, and invest around $1 billion in setting up a manufacturing base in India. Great Wall, as China’;s largest SUV maker, hoped to launch its Haval SUV in India in2021.
The entrance of Great Wall would herald the dropping of another Great Wall—that of India’s barriers to Chinese investment and trade that were set up in the aftermath of the Galwan Valley clash that saw 20 Indian soldiers lay down their lives on the border—the first violence between the two nations in over 45 years.
China had invested an estimated Rs 6 lakh crore in India, responsible for 1.87 lakh jobs, in sectors ranging from smartphones to metals and renewable energy. TikTok, China’s social media giant, had its biggest userbase outside of China in India before it was banned—leaving a void in India’s social media landscape that Instagram and various desi brands have attempted to fill.
Just three weeks prior, ByteDance, the Chinese owner of Tiktok, announced mass layoffs in India stating that they did not know when they would make a comeback in India. TikTok had around 167 million users in India according to RedSeer Management Consulting.
India in 2020 banned around 220 Chinese apps, ranging from games to productivity tools to fintech instant loan apps accused of preying on users with easy money and high interest rates.