In this photo illustration, the logo of the AliExpress app can be seen in Kolkata, India, November 25, 2020.
Indranil Aditya | Nurphoto | Getty Images
SINGAPORE – China has accused India of discriminatory practices that violate World Trade Organization rules after New Delhi banned 43 other Chinese mobile apps.
New Delhi issued an order on Tuesday, claiming to block apps that engage in activities that threaten India’s national security.
The Ministry of Information Technology of India said, “This action was taken on the basis of inputs about these apps, which are precursors to India’s sovereignty and integrity, defense of India, security of the state and public order.”
It added that the decision was based on “extensive reports received from the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Center, Ministry of Home Affairs”.
Affected apps include the short-video streaming app Snack Video, which has dominated the charts in terms of downloads in recent months. It is owned by Tencent-backed Kuaishou and is an alternative to the widely popular TikTok.
Other banned apps include Alibaba’s e-commerce platform AliExpress, streaming app Taobao Live and workplace messaging app DingTalk, as well as delivery app Lalamove India and a handful of dating sites.
“We strongly oppose the repeated use of ‘national security’ by the Indian side on the pretext of banning some mobile APPs with Chinese background,” spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in India said in a statement on Wednesday.
The embassy statement said that we expect the Indian side to provide a fair, impartial and non-discriminatory business environment for all market players in various countries, including China, and fix discriminatory practices that violate WTO rules.
“China and India are opportunities for each other’s development rather than threats,” he said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday that Beijing “expresses serious concern over India’s claim” and called on New Delhi to “immediately correct the discriminatory approach and avoid further damage to bilateral cooperation”.
For the first time on Tuesday, India did not come to ban Chinese apps from the country.
In June, New Delhi blocked 59 mobile apps created by Chinese companies and in September, another 118 apps were added. This included Tittock and the wildly popular PlayerKintown’s Battleground (PUBG) mobile game, which had ties to Chinese giant Tencent.
To date, India has blocked 220 Chinese mobile apps, some of them created by China’s leading consumer-related tech companies such as ByteDance, Tencent and Alibaba.
PUBG Corporation, a South Korean game developer, is reportedly planning a comeback in the Indian market by cutting ties with Tencent in India. Tencent used to publish PUBG mobile games in India.
According to TechCrunch a new game called PUBG Mobile India is expected to be released. The report also states that the company and its parent company KRAFTON have plans Invest $ 100 million in India.
After bilateral relations between India and China soured in June, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the Himalayas. Due to anti-China sentiments across India, people called for a boycott of Chinese products.
Prior to the border conflict, New Delhi already introduced restrictive measures around Chinese foreign direct investment in India.