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China business: The dragon eyes the tiger

What are Chinese businesses up to in booming India? More than you think.

This growing commercial relationship, however, is an uneasy one. India and China have had a complex political relationship for many decades, and fought a bitter war in 1962.

But economic ties between the two countries have increased dramatically since both governments liberalized their large, and now rapidly growing, economies.

Bilateral trade is approaching $60 billion a year, a 60-fold increase since 2001. But an almost $16 billion annual trade deficit with China has set off alarm bells in this country.

Recently, New Delhi’s government showed that it was torn between treating China as a fellow economic power and a serious political rival.

India’s environment minister Jairam Ramesh said the commerce ministry was "paranoid" in vetoing imports of Chinese telecom gear (the fear is that Beijing could use the gear to spy on its rival).

Despite the tensions, business marches on. Huawei has localized some operations by taking on Indian vendors as partners, while outsourcing product development and other projects to Indian outsourcing firms like TCS, Wipro and MindTree.

It has also invested in large R&D operations in India’s technology hub, Bangalore.

And hence,  the closer cultural ties.

Huawei India’s Chinese expatriates are now celebrating traditional Indian festivals like Diwali (festival of lights) and Holi (festival of colors). They're also taking to butter naan and chicken tikka.

Welcome to Chindia. And get used to it.