A day after the Indian government announced a ban on 59 Chinese-owned apps, China on Tuesday, 30 June, said it is "strongly concerned" and "firmly opposed to such action".
The country also urged India to change "discriminatory practices, maintain the momentum of China-India economic and trade cooperation."
Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in India Counselor Ji Rong, in a statement, said, "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."
"“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. “" - Embassy of China
He said that China expects India to acknowledge the mutually beneficial nature of China-India economic and trade cooperation.
"... Urge the Indian side to change its discriminatory practices, 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," read the statement.
Earlier on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian also echoed the same sentiment.
“China is strongly concerned, verifying the situation. We want to stress that the Chinese government always asks Chinese businesses to abide by international and local laws-regulations,” the country’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian was quoted by ANI as saying.
He continued, “The Indian government has a responsibility to uphold the legal rights of international investors, including Chinese ones.”
According to a press statement issued by the India's Ministry of Electronics & IT late on Monday, the banned apps, including the hugely popular TikTok, “engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”
Invoking Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2008, the statement cited threats to privacy of users and data security as the prime reasons to block public access to these apps.
The apps are "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order," said the ministry of Information Technology. TikTok has also been removed from the Google and Apple Play store.
The companies included in the list have been invited to offer clarifications before a government panel, which will decide whether the ban can be removed or will stay.
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