China is a chance for India – not a risk, Beijing says, as extra apps are banned

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a photo session ahead of the 18th meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council of Heads of State.

Mikhail Metzel | TASS | Getty Images

SINGAPORE – China has accused India of discriminatory practices in breach of World Trade Organization rules after New Delhi banned another 43 Chinese mobile apps.

New Delhi on Tuesday gave orders to block these apps, claiming they had carried out activities that threatened India’s national security.

“This action has been taken based on the contributions made to these apps for activities that undermine the sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, state security and public order,” Indian Ministry of Information Technology said.

The decision was made “on the basis of the comprehensive reports from the Interior Ministry’s Indian Cybercrime Coordinating Center”.

The apps affected include the short video streaming app Snack Video, which has reportedly dominated the charts in terms of downloads for the past few months. Owned by Tencent-backed Kuaishou, it is an alternative to the hugely popular TikTok.

Other banned apps include Alibaba’s AliExpress e-commerce platform, the Taobao Live streaming app and the DingTalk workplace messaging app, as well as the Lalamove India delivery app and a handful of dating sites.

China and India are development opportunities rather than threats.

“We strongly oppose the repeated use of” national security “by the Indian side as an excuse to ban some mobile APPs with a Chinese background,” said Chinese Embassy spokesman Ji Rong in a statement on Wednesday.

“We hope that the Indian side will provide a fair, impartial and non-discriminatory business environment for all market participants from different countries, including China, and correct the discriminatory practices that violate WTO rules,” the embassy said in a statement.

“China and India are developing opportunities rather than threats,” he added.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Wednesday that Beijing was “seriously concerned about India’s allegation” and urged New Delhi to “immediately correct its discriminatory approach and avoid further harming bilateral cooperation.”

Tuesday wasn’t the first time India banned Chinese apps from the country.

In June, New Delhi blocked 59 mobile apps created by Chinese companies, and an additional 118 apps were added in September. These included TikTok and the popular mobile game Playerunknowns Battlegrounds (PUBG), which had ties to Chinese internet giant Tencent.

To date, India has blocked at least 220 Chinese mobile apps, some of which were made by China’s leading customer-facing tech companies like ByteDance, Tencent and Alibaba.

PUBG Corporation, the South Korean game developer, is reportedly planning its return to the Indian market by severing ties with Tencent in India. Tencent released the PUBG mobile game in India.

A new game called PUBG Mobile India is expected to be released, according to TechCrunch. According to the report, the company and its parent company KRAFTON have plans to do so Make a $ 100 million investment in India.

The numerous bans came after India-China bilateral relations deteriorated in June following border collisions in the Himalayas that killed 20 Indian soldiers. The duel sparked anti-Chinese sentiments across India as people called for a boycott of Chinese products.

Prior to the border conflict, New Delhi had already introduced restrictive measures on Chinese foreign direct investment in India.

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