Further China-India Internet cooperation can help to dissolve strategic mistrust

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2017/4/5 0:03:39

As bilateral ties between China and India grow increasingly complicated and uncertain, cooperation between the two emerging Asian powers over Internet-related technologies is likely to provide a good platform to strengthen their future relations.

If companies from China and India can take advantage of their economic complementarity in Internet-related sectors, then they could both possibly be strong enough to compete with US top tech brands, like Uber and Amazon, who "are running into unexpected resistance" as they step up operations in India, because "their Chinese equivalents are stepping in to bolster their Indian competitors with billions of dollars in investments and expertise" the Wall Street Journal reported recently.

The rise of India's Internet-related sectors offers huge opportunities for China and India to enhance economic ties and expand their common interests. The mobile Internet market in India today is strikingly similar to that of China several years ago when tech giants Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings experienced rapid business expansion. Those companies have been able to use their capital and technology in capturing market opportunities to help support local startups and business innovation in India.

In March, Indian ecommerce and digital payment platform Paytm raised around $177 million from Alibaba, helping the homegrown company sharpen its competitiveness against Amazon.

However, Internet-related cooperation between China and India is still in its primary stage. Chinese companies have advantages in capital and technology, while Indian homegrown enterprises have a better understanding of local markets and regulations. There is great potential for further cooperation, which could be a win-win for both.

China and India are two powerful emerging countries in the world, and thus properly handling bilateral ties will not be easy.

To dissolve strategic mistrust between the two countries, one effective way is in promoting economic complementarity to make sure both sides' common interests far outweigh their differences.

Sino-Indian relations are presently facing a tough test. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said last week that "China is firmly opposed to any visit by the Dalai Lama to the disputed border region between China and India," according to Xinhua News Agency.

Economic cooperation has long been seen as the stabilizer for bilateral ties, and expanding common interests between the two countries now appears more important than ever.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. bizopinion@globaltimes.com.cn


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