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~ By Charmaine Mirza

Where are the Chinese headed in India? A question worth asking even as Wang Jainlin, Wanda’s big boss, committed 60,000 crores towards infrastructure in Haryana at the beginning of 2016. A massive industrial park in Kharkoda, near Sonipat, in Haryana is Wanda’s latest drop (more like a downpour, we feel!) in the Indian Ocean. Is this a trailblazing move by China’s cowboy investor, or is he riding a silent wave of Chinese investment? Inchin Closer dives beneath the surface of the matter to take a closer look.

  • What makes India an attractive prospect for our Chinese neighbours?
  • Who exactly are these new arrivals off the Chinese junks?

Haryana is leading the Indian pack to lure the Chinese into the Indian playground. So what’s Haryana doing to get the Chinese in? Chief Minister Khattar has made a terrific pitch highlighting:

  • The ease of doing business and regulation reforms under his regime.
  • Low rent leases
  • Friendly tax breaks
  • Haryana’s enhanced infrastructure facilities.
  • It’s strategic location with close proximity to the National Capital Region.

Several MoUs were signed between Chinese companies and Haryana in 2016 and Khattar is driving an aggressive agenda.

  • China Non-Ferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering and Construction Ltd (Hong Kong) was given a security clearance in August to set up shop in Gurgaon.
  • Daqing Construction and Installation Group Ltd and International Energy Technology Service Ltd were cleared to open a project office in Gurgaon earlier this year as well.
  • The telecom golden triangle of China Telecom, Huawei and ZTE is already well established – and ZTE has already signed an agreement to develop a smart city in Haryana.
  • China Fortune and CFLD are also looking at setting up industrial parks in Haryana.
  • Inspur group is planning to invest in a cable box plant in Haryana.

The Chinese are making inroads beyond Haryana as well, as other states jump onto the bandwagon. Power and energy are big focus areas for China in India, and there are several more Chinese power companies lined up and awaiting clearance to set up base in the Subcontinent. DongFeng Electric has made it’s base in Calcutta while its competitor TBEA, has gone in the other direction and set up base in Vadodra. Modi’s “smart city” impetus has lured Chinese IT and telecom. Huawei has already made inroads into Tamil Nadu. Maharashtra and Gujarat are already being earmarked for a future Chinese footprint.

Apparently, the majority of Chinese living in Gurgaon tends to be engineers and other IT professionals working for telecom companies. China is all set to manufacture competitively priced and efficient handsets, in India, for the Indian market – a junk that India herself seems to be missing altogether? The Chinese seem to feel safer in numbers. They prefer to live close to one another, often in the same complex, where they can pop in on each other and enjoy home-cooked Chinese meals, potlucks, and just hang out with their own folks outside the office. In fact there are close to 500 Chinese people living in Gurgaon alone – and this does not include smaller Chinese enclaves like Outram Lines and Karol Baug that are in New Delhi itself. Chinese investment has increased six-fold in the last two years alone and currently stands at around 900 million USD and counting. Arun Jaitley has made it clear that the BJP administration is looking east to its neighboring big brother. According to the Daily Pioneer, “China’s Ministry of Commerce: “Chinese outbound investment (in India) increased by 58.7 per cent in the first half of the year, as the country (India) has sought to further integrate itself into the world economy.” The Chinese need a new market. India needs the foreign investment. China has the manufacturing prowess and a hunger for new territory. India has 1.2 billion people and the purchasing power that stands behind them. Therein lies an opportunity.

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