SOURCE: LIVE MINT
China said on Tuesday it was concerned about India’s decision to ban Chinese mobile apps such as Bytedance’s TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat and was making checks to verify the situation, according to a Reuters report from Beijing. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters during a daily briefing that India has a responsibility to uphold the rights of Chinese businesses. India on Monday banned 59 Chinese mobile apps in its strongest move yet targeting China in the online space since a border crisis erupted between the two countries this month.
The apps are “prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, the defence of India, the security of state and public order”, the ministry of information technology said in a statement, which came two weeks after 20 Indian Army personnel were killed in a violent clash on the India-China border in Ladakh.
The move also came ahead of military and diplomatic talks between India and China scheduled this week.
On 17 June, foreign minister S. Jaishankar in a telephone call to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi had warned of a “serious impact on the bilateral relationship” following the deaths of the 20 Indian army personnel.
Tensions have spiralled since early May after hand-to-hand fighting between troops on the banks of Pangong Tso in Ladakh. Tensions then spread across many points along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, besides the border in Sikkim, with Beijing amassing large numbers of troops, heavy vehicles and artillery backed by air support along the LAC.
With tensions simmering, New Delhi has been mulling punitive economic steps that would impact Chinese interests. With key countries across the world looking at moving their supply chains out of China in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, China would not like to see its trade ties with India worth an estimated $90 billion, mostly in China’s favour, affected, say analysts. TikTok has more than 200 million users in India and sees the country as one of its most important markets after China. In China, the app operates under a different name, Duyoin. In India, Tik Tok is widely popular among the country’s youth. The apps banned by the IT ministry on Monday included the popular scanning app CamScanner and Mi Video by smartphone maker Xiaomi.
“There are essentially four types of Chinese apps functioning in India — Economic Activity Apps, Service Oriented Apps, Vanity Apps and Strategic Apps,” said Blaise Fernandes, Director, Gateway House think tank based in Mumbai.
“The Digital India story is globally tracked. Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent are part of the digital ‘Silk Route’ of China. The ban of the 59 Chinese Apps in India, will negatively impact the valuations of these apps and their respective promoters. Case in point – the upcoming IPO of TikTok – 30% user base comes from India. This will impact the TikTok valuations negatively,” Fernandes said.