Beijing lashed out at India on Wednesday after it banned another tranche of Chinese apps for national security reasons, the latest sore point between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. Tensions remain high between Beijing and New Delhi after a deadly June clash in a disputed border area that left 20 Indian soldiers dead and an unspecified number of Chinese casualties.
India banned 43 Chinese apps on Tuesday — including some from e-commerce giant Alibaba — for threatening “sovereignty and integrity”. China said it had “serious concerns” about the move and India’s “so-called pretext of upholding national security”. “India should immediately redress these discriminative methods to avoid even bigger damage to bilateral cooperation,” said foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian at a regular press briefing.
“The relevant methods clearly violate market principles and WTO guidelines, and severely harm Chinese companies’ legal rights and interests,” he said. New Delhi had previously pulled 59 Chinese apps — including the wildly popular video-sharing platform TikTok — from its huge domestic market, with another 118 Chinese mobile applications banned in September.
The latest tranche of banned apps includes Alibaba’s AliExpress and delivery service Lalamove, as well as dating and live-streaming services. Alibaba’s investments in the booming Indian online market include digital payments platform Paytm and online grocer BigBasket. Anti-China sentiment has soared in India since the clash and sparked calls for a boycott of goods from the neighbouring country.
List of newly banned Chinese applications
- AliSuppliers Mobile App
- Alibaba Workbench
- AliExpress – Smarter Shopping, Better Living
- Alipay Cashier
- Lalamove India – Delivery App
- Drive with Lalamove India
- Snack Video
- CamCard – Business Card Reader
- CamCard – BCR (Western)
- Soul- Follow the soul to find you
- Chinese Social – Free Online Dating Video App & Chat
- Date in Asia – Dating & Chat For Asian Singles
- WeDate-Dating App
- Free dating app-Singol, start your date!
- Adore App
- TrulyChinese – Chinese Dating App
- TrulyAsian – Asian Dating App
- ChinaLove: dating app for Chinese singles
- DateMyAge: Chat, Meet, Date Mature Singles Online
- AsianDate: find Asian singles
- FlirtWish: chat with singles
- Guys Only Dating: Gay Chat
- Tubit: Live Streams
- First Love Live- super hot live beauties live online
- Rela – Lesbian Social Network
- Cashier Wallet
- MGTV-HunanTV official TV APP
- WeTV – TV version
- WeTV – Cdrama, Kdrama&More
- WeTV Lite
- Lucky Live-Live Video Streaming App
- Taobao Live
- Identity V
- Isoland 2: Ashes of Time
- BoxStar (Early Access)
- Heroes Evolved
- Happy Fish
- Jellipop Match-Decorate your dream island！
- Munchkin Match: magic home building
- Conquista Online II
India has now banned 220 Chinese apps:
59 apps were banned on 29th June
118 apps were banned on 2nd September
43 apps banned today, 24th November #ChinaAppBan
— Dr Gaurav Garg (@DrGauravGarg4) November 24, 2020
India bans Chinese apps on allegations of threatening sovereignty
India’s imports from China, dominated by toys, cosmetics, home appliances, auto components and steel, totalled $74.9 billion last year, according to New Delhi. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an attempt to hit back at China for the seizure of land in Ladakh, has targeted Chinese business interests in India. In June, Modi banned more than 50 other Chinese applications in a similar attempt.
The banned 59 Chinese mobile apps, including the wildly popular TikTok and WeChat, were cited as national security and privacy concerns two weeks after a deadly Himalayan border clash between the nuclear-armed neighbours. 20 Indian troops were killed in hand-to-hand fighting with their Chinese counterparts on the western end of the high-altitude, contested border in mid-June, international media reported.
The apps “are engaged in activities… prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order,” the Ministry of Information Technology said in a statement. “The government of India has decided to disallow the usage of certain apps… This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.”
India bans Chinese apps hoping to dent income
Most of the applications are highly popular in India, including ByteDance-owned video-sharing apps TikTok and Helo, file-sharing app SHAREit and Alibaba’s UC browser and UC News, with a combined user base of more than half a billion.
There are estimated to be about 120 million TikTok users in India, making the South Asian nation of 1.3 billion people the app’s biggest international market. Other apps on the banned list included microblogging app Weibo and strategy game Clash of Kings.
But anger has been brewing across India since the soldiers were killed in a brawl along the disputed border in northern Ladakh region on June 15 in the deadliest faceoff for almost half a century between the two countries. It was the first time troops have been killed on their frontier since 1975. Beijing has not disclosed if there were any casualties among their troops.
India and China fought a war over the border in 1962. New Delhi has accused China of intruding into its territory in the region, a charge Beijing has denied. The June 15 violence took place around 4,500 metres (15,000 feet) above sea level in the Galwan river valley abutting Aksai Chin, a strategic corridor linking Tibet to western China.
Anti-China sentiment rife in India
The deaths triggered massive outrage and street protests in India. There were calls for the banning of Chinese businesses, which export goods worth nearly $60 billion to India. A senior minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government demanded a ban on Chinese food while a prominent trading union said it would boycott a range of commodities imported from China.
A hotel union last week said they would not allow Chinese guests to stay in their properties. Millions of Indians downloaded “Remove China Apps”, a mobile application that helped users detect and delete Chinese software, before it was removed by Google from its Play Store. Media reports said Chinese consignments were being held up by customs at major Indian ports.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, however, which has a more than 30 percent share of the Indian market, is promoting itself as a company in line with the government’s “Make in India” slogan, an apparent move to counter anti-Chinese sentiments. Chinese mobiles have an almost 65 percent share in the local smartphone market.
From toys, cosmetics, makeup and handbags to home appliances, pharma, auto components, and steel, China exports more than 3,000 products to India. Beijing’s direct investments have soared from $1.6 billion in 2014 to at least $8 billion in 2017, while planned and current investments are forecast at $26 billion, according to US think-tank Brookings.
AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk