Ban on Chinese apps: Beijing's Mission in India accuses New Delhi of 'discriminatory practices', violating WTO rules

'India's measure, selectively and discriminatorily aims at certain Chinese apps on ambiguous and far-fetched grounds,' China's mission to India said in a statement

FP Staff June 30, 2020 21:37:52 IST
Ban on Chinese apps: Beijing's Mission in India accuses New Delhi of 'discriminatory practices', violating WTO rules

A day after India banned 59 Chinese-owned mobile applications raising privacy concerns about user data, Beijing's mission in India 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," China said.

The ban on these apps also comes in the backdrop of the current stand-off along the Line of Actual control in eastern Ladakh with Chinese troops.

Ban on Chinese apps Beijings Mission in India accuses New Delhi of discriminatory practices violating WTO rules

Representational image. AFP

India's Information Technology Ministry said on Monday that it has invoked its power under section 69A of the IT Act and rules, and has decided to block 59 apps in view of information available that they are "engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".

In a statement, the Information Technology Ministry said that it has received many complaints from various sources, including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for "stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India".

The statement added that the compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures.

The ban on apps, the ministry added, will "safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users" stating that the decision is a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace".

However, the Chinese 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," the statement added.

Asserting that practical cooperation between China and India is actually mutually beneficial and win-win, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said, "deliberate interference in such cooperation will not serve the interests of the Indian side".

Earlier, the Chinese foreign ministry had also reacted to the development. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said, "China has noted the press release issued by the Indian side with strong concern and is now verifying the situation."

"I want to stress that the Chinese government always asks the Chinese businesses to abide by international rules, local laws and regulations in their business cooperation with foreign countries," he said.

"The Indian government has the responsibility to uphold the legitimate and legal rights of the international investors including the Chinese ones," he added.

With inputs from PTI

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