Want to Know If Your Product is Chinese? There’s an App For That

The ‘Made In India’ app uses the phone’s camera to scan the barcode of any product.

Published24 Jun 2020, 10:20 AM IST
Tech News
4 min read

By now, I am sure you must have come across at least one video on social media of someone throwing their Chinese brand TV off the balcony or of people smashing their Chinese smartphones.

This sentiment, albeit nonsensical, is being shared by many Indians as a response to the events that transpired at the India-China border, in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley.

The anti-China sentiment has led to #BoycottChinaProducts trending on social media and people have been looking for ways to spot Chinese products in the market.

Sensing the opportunity, an app developer from Noida has launched a mobile application that can show you where a product originated.

Yes, originated, not manufactured. There is a difference.

How Does ‘Made In India’ Work?

The ‘Made in India’ app is available on the Google PlayStore in the Tools section and has been published by The91Apps.

The app allows you to scan the barcode or enter the barcode number of any product and it tells you where the product originated.

It is a very basic application and only needs access to the phone camera to scan the code.

You should be aware that the app tells you where the product originated, it does not tell you where it has been manufactured.

For example: I scanned the barcode on a Samsung Galaxy S20+ box which showed me on the app that the product originated in South Korea. Yes, Samsung is from South Korea.

The result after scanning the Samsung Galaxy S20+.
The result after scanning the Samsung Galaxy S20+.
(Photo: The Quint)

But, the phone has been manufactured at a Samsung manufacturing facility in Vietnam and it reads the same on the phone’s box.

The Samsung Galaxy S20+ has been manufactured in Vietnam.
The Samsung Galaxy S20+ has been manufactured in Vietnam.
(Photo: The Quint)
If you really want to know where the product has been manufactured, I suggest you look at the box or search for the product information online. 

The ‘Made In India’ app doesn’t violate any of Google’s policies, as it is not prompting the removal of any apps from the device, unlike the ‘Remove China Apps’ application that was banned from the Google Play Store.

Looking for Chinese Products?

While you may be able to trace where a product originated, you can’t still be sure whether it is Chinese or not.

The simplest example is that a majority of Apple iPhones are manufactured in China but are products made by an American company.

Many non-Chinese multinationals get their products manufactured in China, as the labour and manufacturing cost is cheaper there. But, that does not mean the product is Chinese.

If the product’s country of origin is China then only does it qualify as a Chinese product.

Certain smartphone brands in India, like Oppo, Xiaomi, Vivo, have manufacturing units in India but their country of origin is China.

Chinese Smartphone Brands React

Manu Kumar Jain, the Managing Director at Xiaomi India, says that the company is “more Indian” than any other smartphone brand, stressing that the company's mobile phone R&D centre and product team is located in India.

He also added that Xiaomi India employs more than 50,000 people in the country.

Earlier, Realme India CEO Madhav Sheth, who is also very active on social media, said that Realme is an Indian startup.

"I can proudly say Realme is an Indian startup, which is now a global MNC (multinational corporation)," he said.

Where’s the Alternative?

As many people are advocating the call for a ban on Chinese goods, it might come as a surprise to you that 8 out of 10 smartphones that Indians are currently using are Chinese.

Most of the affordable consumer electronics coming to India are from China and they have been selling like hotcakes, thanks to their attractive pricing options.

With the anti-China sentiment growing in India, we also have to accept the fact that Indians love a bargain and will not easily let go of it. To make things worse, we do not have alternatives in the market that can compete shoulder to shoulder with Chinese products.

As per a CVoter Snap Poll survey, 68.2 percent people are willing to junk their Chinese mobiles and electronic goods.

But, ask yourselves this question before you decide to toss your phone out of the window: Do you have a better and affordable alternative right now?

We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated.

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