UPDATED 22:37 EST / NOVEMBER 26 2020

APPS

Tensions rise as India bans yet more Chinese apps

India announced this week that it has banned 43 more Chinese apps on top of the 175 apps that were banned this year, something that drew complaints from the Chinese government today.

“This action was taken based on the inputs regarding these apps for engaging in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order,” India’s IT Ministry said in a statement.

After China, India is the second-largest internet market. Following the bans this year, right now there aren’t any of the top 500 Chinese apps being used in India, something that has rattled the Chinese government.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said today that India had violated global free-trade rules and was guilty of discriminating against Chinese companies. “The Indian side should immediately correct this discriminatory practice so as to avoid causing greater damage to the cooperation between the two sides,” said the spokesperson.

Earlier this year, India went all out and banned some of the most popular apps in the world. Companies that were hit included Tencent Holdings Ltd., which backs the immensely popular game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Electronics maker Xiaomi Corp. and e-commerce giant the Alibaba Group have had their apps banned as well. One of the most popular apps in India, the video-sharing platform TikTok, has also been kicked out of the country.

India has cited cybersecurity concerns, but the spat started in June after Indian troops clashed with Chinese troops on the Himalayan border. The fighting resulted in 20 Indian soldiers losing their lives. Chinese soldiers were injured or killed, but the Chinese government hasn’t yet confirmed how many its soldiers have died.

China has been accused by officials in the U.S. of collecting sensitive data on citizens, which earlier this year prompted President Trump to call for a ban on TikTok. This week, the U.K. announced that anyone caught using Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. 5G equipment will face a large fine, again citing security concerns. China’s Foreign Ministry wasn’t too happy about that either, accusing the U.K. of collaborating with the U.S. in “discriminating and suppressing Chinese companies citing nonexistent security risks.”

Photo: Matthew Paul Argall/Flickr

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