'India not even close to where China was 5 years ago'
Beijing: Taking a dig at an American media report that India replaces China as next big frontier for the US tech companies, an article in state-run Chinese daily said India was "not even close" where China was five years ago.
Commenting on the New York Times report that "India replaces China as next big frontier for US tech companies" after meetings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping with the executives of US tech companies during their recent visits to the US, an article in the Global Times Thursday pointed to the inability of the BJP government to get the GST legislation through the Parliament.
"For instance, the states of India all have set their own varied taxes and multiple payments have to be made when commodities circulate between states. Unifying the taxes of commodities and services has been called on for years, but this is always blocked in the parliament. Even Modi cannot overcome this. In this circumstance, it is hard to forge ahead with developing an Internet economy," the article said.
"The development of the Internet cannot be separated from the level of the overall economy. India's Internet economy will not advance rapidly, let alone become the main driving force for India's economy unless the country enhances the openness and competitiveness of its overall economy, integrates markets effectively and builds a base for primary and intermediate manufacturing," it said.
"If this cannot be done, Modi's plan of making 'Digital India' will be just empty talk. From this perspective, India is not even close to where China was five years ago," it said.
It is the development of China's manufacturing that has laid a foundation for the rapid expansion of Internet economy, the daily said.
"Shopping online after all requires the provision of commodities. What India needs is an all-round and multi-layered manufacturing industry that can adapt to changes and be competitive," it said.
"India lags behind China in the fields of manufacturing, logistics and infrastructure by more than five years. Apart from the hardware, the key actually lies in the integration and openness of markets and in this respect China is more accomplished than India," it said.
"Undisputedly India has huge potential in terms of population and Internet use. But the development of the Internet economy doesn't solely depend on large population and it is not decided simply by factors like the number of mobile phones in use and Internet surfers," it said.
India has 243 million Internet of which 35 million shopped online. In China, the numbers were 649 million users and 361 million online shoppers.
"The data can prove that the number of Internet users is important for Internet economy, but is just one of the factors," it said.
"To develop, the Internet economy cannot build castles in the air or take off regardless of a frail economic foundation. It depends on the maturity of the market economy and the development of other sectors like business, finance, logistics, transport, manufacturing, Internet infrastructure and public education," it added.