More Chinese apps banned in India as tensions persist

More Chinese apps banned in India as tensions persist
Image Source

India has decided to ban more apps from China, escalating the already strained relationship between the two countries.

On Tuesday, India announced that it was banning 43 additional apps, most of which are Chinese, drawing the ire of China and further increasing the tension between the two most populated nations in the world.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ban on additional Chinese apps

Among those included in the new ban were apps from China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba, such as the AliExpress shopping platform, workplace messaging tool DingTalk and the Taobao Live streaming app.

In a statement, India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said: “This action was taken based on the inputs regarding these apps for engaging in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order.”

In response to the new ban, Ji Rong, spokesperson for China’s embassy in India, said: “We firmly oppose the Indian side’s repeated use of ‘national security’ as an excuse to prohibit some mobile apps with Chinese background.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The Chinese embassy also reiterated that the Chinese government has always prompted Chinese firms operating overseas to follow international rules and comply with local legislation.

For the past five months, the Indian government has banned over 200 apps in the country, mostly Chinese apps, particularly the super popular vide sharing app TikTok.

Last June, India announced that it would ban 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, Weibo and WeChat, arguing that the platforms threatened the “sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China was “strongly concerned” about the ban placed by India on Chinese mobile apps. He added that the government is currently “checking and verifying information on the situation.”

Ongoing India-China conflict

Also in early June, Chinese and Indian troops clashed at the Himalayas border, resulting to the death of at least 20 Indian soldiers.

China accused India of crossing the border twice and “provoking and attacking Chinese personnel”.

The clash has led to problems in international trade, suspension of business deals, as well as calls for a boycott of Chinese goods and citizens in India.

China has also been actively funding economic projects in Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal, India’s closest neighbors. This has caused fears in India that China is trying to reduce its influence within the region.

Meanwhile, in September, India’s military troops alerted China regarding an alleged abduction of five civilians by the People’s Liberation Army near the Himalayan border.

According to India Minister of State for Minority Affairs Kiren Rijiju, the army has sent  a “hotline message” to its counterparts in China over media reports that five civilians hunting near the Himalayan border were allegedly detained by Chinese military.

Rijiju is also a member of parliament for the north eastern border state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Keni Bagra, superintendent of police for Upper Subansiri district in Arunachal Pradesh, claimed that five men were reported missing with talks within the local community that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) “may have abducted or kidnapped them.”

However. Bagra noted that no formal complaint or report has been filed by the missing individuals’ relatives and that there were little “concrete details” available.