New Delhi: A day after India banned 59 Chinese apps, the country’s embassy in New Delhi said the move violates international laws governing global trade and e-commerce.
This comes after Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said earlier in the day that China is strongly concerned about the notification issued by the Ministry of Information Technology Monday.
“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,” said Ji Rong, spokesperson, embassy of China, in a statement.
The embassy said the move to ban these apps, which include the hugely popular TikTok, WeChat and UC Browser, among others, “goes against the general trend of international trade and e-commerce, and is not conducive to consumer interests and the market competition in India”.
She also said the ban will not only impact a large number of users in India, but it will also adversely hit the employment of local Indian professionals working in companies that run these apps.
“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,” Ji added.
Urging India to change its “discriminatory practices”, the embassy said: “We expect India acknowledges the mutually beneficial nature of China-India economic and trade cooperation … maintain the momentum of China-India 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 of both sides and the overall interests of bilateral relations.”
Move comes amid border standoff
On Monday, the IT Ministry in a late night announcement said it would be banning the 59 apps because they threaten “national security and defence of India” and “impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, and is a matter of very deep and immediate concern, which requires emergency measures”.
This comes amid a bitter border stand-off between India and China in Ladakh that began in early May.
The move also comes two months after India notified new rules that will require all Chinese firms to seek prior government approval before making investments into India.