China on Tuesday reached out to India, expressing anxiety about the ban imposed by the Indian government on 59 popular Chinese apps like TikTok and WeChat, among others.
Beijing’s mission in India also issued a strong statement accusing India of indulging in “discriminatory practices”.
“India’s measure, selectively and discriminatorily aims at certain Chinese apps on ambiguous and far-fetched grounds, runs against fair and transparent procedure requirements, abuses national security exceptions, and suspects of violating the WTO rules,” the Chinese embassy said in a statement.
The Government on Monday banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, Shareit, UC Browser and Xiaomi’s Mi Community over national security concerns in a diplomatic reaction to the Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh on June 15 in which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, invoking it’s power under section 69 A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats decided to block 59 apps since in view of the information available they are “engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of state and public order”.
Upon receiving of recent credible inputs that such Apps pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of India, the Government of India has decided to disallow the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet-enabled devices, a ministry statement read.
The Government also asserted that this move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a “targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace,” it said.
However, China denied these concerns and claimed that the ban will instead prove counterproductive to Indian interests.
“Related apps have a large number of users in India, have been operating strictly in accordance with Indian laws and regulations, and provide efficient and fast services for Indian consumers, creators and entrepreneurs. The ban will affect not only the employment of local Indian workers who support these apps, but also the interests of Indian users and the employment and livelihoods of many creators and entrepreneurs,” it said.
The Chinese government also said “We expect India acknowledges the mutually beneficial nature of China-India economic and trade cooperation” and urged the Delhi to “change its discriminatory practices, maintain the momentum of India-China economic and trade cooperation, treat all investments and service providers equally, and create an open, fair and just business environment, while bearing in mind the fundamental interests o both sides and overall interests of bilateral relations”.
Earlier on Tuesday, briefing media on the development, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian had said that Beijing is “strongly concerned” and was “verifying the situation”.
Lijian further stressed that the Chinese government has always asked its businesses to abide by international and local laws and regulations and added that “Indian Government has a responsibility to uphold the legal rights of international investors including Chinese ones”.
“The practical cooperation between China and India is actually mutually beneficial and win-win,” he said.
Since the violent face-off at Galwan valley and aggressive posturing of Beijing, there has been a vocal sentiment against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime in India.