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Foreign firms have to follow India’s rules pertaining to data security and privacy: MEA

MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said India has adopted a very ‘open regime’ for attracting FDIs, but global companies have to abide by the country’s rules.

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New Delhi: Days after banning 59 Chinese apps, New Delhi Thursday said international firms operating in India in the digital and internet space have to follow the country’s rules and regulations, including those pertaining to data security and privacy of individual data.

Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), said while the country has adopted an open regime when it comes to inviting foreign direct investments (FDIs), global companies have to follow the country’s rules and regulations.

“The world’s largest software and internet applications companies are present in India. Naturally, while operating in India, they have to abide by our rules and regulations issued by the relevant ministries and departments, including those pertaining to data security and privacy of individual data,” Srivastava said during a media briefing.

“India has one of the most open regimes in the world for attracting Foreign Direct Investment. In the last few years, the government has taken a host of measures for creating a more investor-friendly regime. Similarly in the area of digital technology and internet, India has adopted a very open regime. India is today one of the world’s largest markets for digital and internet technologies with more than 680 million subscribers,” he added.

Srivastava said while India will continue to welcome foreign investments in India, including in the area of internet technologies, it “will have to be in accordance with the rules and regulatory framework established by the government”.

India Monday banned 59 Chinese apps, including the hugely popular TikTok, UC Browser and Weibo, terming them prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and national security.

This came amid the bitter border standoff with China in Ladakh since early May.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday called India’s banning of the Chinese apps a “clean app approach” that will “boost India’s sovereignty, integrity and national security”.

“We welcome India’s ban on certain mobile apps that serve as an appendage of the CCP’s (Chinese Communist Party) surveillance state,” Pompeo said.

His comments came the same day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi quit Chinese social media app Weibo, which he had joined in 2015. 

Also read: China’s Hikvision controls India’s surveillance market. Modi needs to do more than ban apps

Talks on between India, China 

Srivastava, meanwhile, said talks are on between both the sides to de-escalate tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh.

“The two sides will continue their meetings both at the military and diplomatic levels, including under the framework of WMCC (Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs) in the future, to resolve the issues to mutual satisfaction. We expect the Chinese side to sincerely follow up and ensure the expeditious restoration of peace and tranquility in the border areas as per bilateral agreements and protocols,” he added.

Srivastava said during the last commanders’ level meeting that took place on 30 June, both sides agreed to “an expeditious, phased and step-wise de-escalation as a priority” based on the “agreement” between External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

Also read: India’s options against China shrink to two — limited war or another Wuhan


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