The government of India has placed a six-month ban on toys manufactured in China. The Indian government did not say why it placed the ban, but it is thought to be in response to what the government perceives as Chinese interference in their relations with Pakistan.
Significantly, the toy ban came a day after India expressed objections to Pakistan “outsourcing” its foreign policy to China, with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on January 22 giving China a “blank check” to negotiate with India in resolving the crisis in relations sparked by the November 26, 2008, terrorist strike in Mumbai. The toy ban could be a rebuke to Chinese interference in its relations with Pakistan, currently the greatest challenge facing the Congress party-led government in Delhi…
Retailers are not happy. “The ban on Chinese toys is a mistake,” Narain Das, owner of Toy Kingdom store in New Delhi, told Asia Times Online. “It came about as a result of pressure from domestic manufacturers after toy imports from China last year crossed rupee 1,000 crores [$204 million].” Das said his customers had no complaints with Chinese toys.
Surprisingly, no specific reason was given for the ban, particularly given that trade with China is expected to grow to $100 billion by 2012, nearly one-fifth of India’s overall annual $525 billion trade with the world, according to Department of Commerce estimates released in April, 2008.
The ban is expected to further damage China’s embattled toy export industry.
See also past CDT posts on China’s toy industry.