Chinese propaganda outlets go on overdrive to slam India's ban on 59 China-linked apps, ask Modi govt to prevent 'economic conflict'

Notwithstanding imminent losses to Chinese firms on account of India's decision, state-controlled media outlets in China continue to allege that it is India that stands to lose

FP Staff July 01, 2020 23:53:13 IST
Chinese propaganda outlets go on overdrive to slam India's ban on 59 China-linked apps, ask Modi govt to prevent 'economic conflict'

Since the build-up of tensions along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, Chinese propaganda outlets have been on an overdrive in terms of targeting India. Now, with the Centre's decision to ban 59 Chinese apps, these outlets have upped the ante once again.

For instance, a recent article in Global Times, the Chinese Communist Party's mouthpiece, called on the Narendra Modi government to prevent an "economic conflict".

The article noted, "It is undeniable that the app ban will hurt the commercial interests of relevant Chinese companies, but, when looking at the bigger picture, it is clear that India is in no position to cause harm to China's juggernaut economy."

The article also sought to ridicule campaigns in India to boycott Chinese products, saying that there are "no available and affordable alternatives to Chinese-made products such as smartphones, chemicals, automotive components and many other items".

Another article in the newspaper quoted Sha Jun, an executive partner at the India Investment Services Center of the Yingke Law Firm, as saying that the Indian government's action of banning the apps was "childish and emotional", and that it "marks a very bad signal for further Chinese investment in India".

However, the newspaper also quoted a source as saying that the losses of Chinese internet company ByteDance — mother company of Tik Tok — due to the Indian government's decision could be as high as $6 billion. According to an article in The Times of India, Indians spent a massive 5.5 billion hours on TikTok in the year 2019.

Notwithstanding imminent losses to Chinese firms on account of India's decision, state-controlled media outlets in China continue to allege that it is India that stands to lose. For example, an article on CGTN (China Global Television Network) argues that India will find it more difficult to address its "developmental challenges" if it takes measures such as the ban on Chinese apps. It mentions India's figures in terms of literacy and healthcare in this context. It is, however, unclear how a ban on apps like TikTok and UC Browser can have a negative effect on any of these indicators.

Chinese propaganda outlets go on overdrive to slam Indias ban on 59 Chinalinked apps ask Modi govt to prevent economic conflict

Representational image. AFP

"There is much to be gained by India if it works with China, especially in the area of technology," the article contends.

In the recent past, Chinese media outlets have stepped up propaganda against India on a variety of points, including the country's armed forces and economic credentials. The media outlets have asked India not to "provoke" China and threatened that New Delhi will be "even more humiliated" than after the 1962 border conflict.

The ties between India and China have come under strain due to their military standoff at the Line of Actual Control.

The Indian government has banned the 59 apps in view of information available that they are "engaged in activities which are prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".

The move will "safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace", the Union IT ministry said.

With inputs from PTI

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