Banned Chinese sites SHEIN, Club Factory still operating in India
Over a week ago, India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology announced a ban on 59 Chinese apps, including those operated by some popular e-commerce companies from the neighboring country. Now, according to The Economic Times, despite that ban, these shopping platforms are still operating in India - at a limited capacity. Here is all you need to know about it.
Although China has several e-commerce sites that deliver to India, the ban announced by the government focused on three key players — Club Factory, ROMWE, and SHEIN. They all deliver apparel, with Club Factory being a highly popular choice among shoppers, and had previously been embroiled in cases of undervaluing and wrongly declaring goods to avoid custom duties.
As the ban came into effect, the apps of all three platforms were removed from Google and Apple's apps stores. However, their websites remained active on some networks, which created a window for taking and fulfilling more orders across India. Multiple users confirmed to ET that they were able to place orders on the websites even days after the ban was imposed.
Club Factory and SHEIN received orders as late as this week and were set to ship them in a matter of days through multiple logistics companies, ET's sources revealed. Interestingly, when we tried accessing the sites through a Jio Fiber connection on July 10, all three platforms opened, but the order went through only on SHEIN.
The SHEIN order was placed as it was still accepting Cash on Delivery as a mode of payment. The other two websites had completely disabled their payment options, including COD, on the web.
From the current situation, it appears that the ban has not been fully enforced by ISPs which have allowed the sites to function at a limited capacity. While the telcos or the Chinese companies involved have not officially commented on the matter, a senior executive from one operator told ET that the banned companies are also using alternate domains to circumvent the restriction.
"Telcos are trying to find the various DNS (Domain Name Server) of the combination and have informed the government that there are other DNSes that are making the sites active," the executive said, while highlighting the ongoing efforts to tackle the issue.