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India bans more Chinese apps over security concerns

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An Indian man holds a placard urging ban on Chinese apps (The Economic Times)
An Indian man holds a placard urging ban on Chinese apps (The Economic Times)

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, Nov. 25: India has banned more Chinese apps at the backdrop of rising border tension between the two Asian giants on Tuesday. The move has drawn rebuke from Beijing as it opposed the continuous bans on Chinese apps in India. “We firmly oppose the Indian side’s repeated use of ‘national security’ as an excuse to prohibit some mobile apps with Chinese background,” said Ji Rong, spokesperson for China’s embassy in India.

The Indian government announced the ban of 43 apps, mostly Chinese, deeming them to be “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order”. Apps from China’s e-commerce company Alibaba have also been targeted along with several dating apps. Platforms like AliExpressDingTalk and Taobao Live were also on the list. 

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology stated that the apps were banned under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act. The move was based on comprehensive reports received from Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Center, the ministry said. The statement read that the decision was “committed to protect the interests of citizens and sovereignty and integrity of India on all fronts and it shall take all possible steps to ensure that.”

Chinese embassy remarked that Beijing has always required the Chinese companies operating overseas to abide by international rules and regulations. The Chinese spokesperson further said, “Hope India provides fair, impartial and non-discriminatory business environment for all market players and rectify discriminatory practices.”

A total of 220 apps have now been banned, including the viral video platform TikTok and the popular mobile game, PUBG, in the so-called “digital strike” by the India side. Relations between India and China have been deteriorating since the tense border clashes in June.

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