Beijing has blasted India’s move to ban more Chinese smartphone apps for “security reasons” and urged New Delhi not to harm bilateral cooperation.
India banned 43 more Chinese apps on Tuesday, some of them from e-commerce giant Alibaba, explaining that they pose a threat to its “sovereignty and integrity.”
The move prompted the Foreign Ministry in Beijing to express “serious concerns,” with spokesman Zhao Lijian saying that Chinese companies’ legal rights and interests are being severely harmed. New Delhi’s methods “clearly violate” market principles and WTO guidelines, he told reporters.
Since June, India has imposed restrictions on smartphone apps with Chinese backgrounds four times. “China firmly rejects” the moves, Zhao said, adding that the Chinese government asks the country’s companies to observe international rules, as well as local laws and regulations overseas.
“India should immediately correct its discriminatory approach and avoid causing further damage to bilateral cooperation,” he stressed.
The latest apps to be banned include Alibaba’s AliExpress and delivery service Lalamove, as well as dating and live-streaming services. Prior to the latest move, India had removed 59 Chinese apps from its huge market in June, including the popular video-sharing platform TikTok. In September, another 118 Chinese mobile apps were banned.
India’s imports from China amounted to $74.9 billion last year, and Zhao also described economic and trade cooperation between the two states as mutually beneficial.
In the summer, many in India called for an economic boycott of China following a deadly military clash in a disputed border region, which left 20 Indian soldiers dead.
New Delhi said on Tuesday that the mobile apps were banned based on “comprehensive reports” from the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Center and Ministry of Home Affairs. The government said it is committed to protecting “the interests of citizens and sovereignty and integrity of India on all fronts.”
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