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App ban harms ‘investment environment’: Chinese Embassy on India banning 118 apps

India, China
Credit: Aditi Agrawal

In response to the Indian government banning 118 ‘Chinese’ apps, the Chinese Embassy in India on Thursday said that the ban not only harms the “legitimate rights and interests” of Chinese investors, but also harms the interests of Indian consumers and the “investment environment”. It also said that the Chinese government has “always required” companies from the country to abide by international rules. “Suppression, self-seclusion and restrictions cannot benefit one country’s development,” said the Chinese Embassy in a statement.

As was the case when India had banned TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps in June, the Chinese Embassy yet again called this ban discriminatory, and violative of WTO rules. However, as we had reported then, that approaching the WTO about these app bans might be counterproductive for China as it may be asked to justify banning apps and other websites in its own territory. “China and India are the opportunities of development to each other rather than strategic threats,” the Embassy said, adding that it hopes that India will work with China to maintain the “hard-won” cooperation and development situation.

Following fresh skirmishes on the Indo-China border, the IT Ministry on Wednesday banned 118 apps developed by Chinese companies, including popular gaming app PUBG, and payments app Alipay, saying that these apps engaged in activities which were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India”. So far, the government has banned a total of 224 ‘Chinese’ apps. On June 29, the government had banned 59 apps including TikTok, and WeChat, and followed that up by banning 47 more apps in July.

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