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China slams move to extend apps ban, asks India to ‘correct discriminatory measures’

The Indian government recently sent notices to Chinese firms, informing them that the ban, announced in June, will continue

China on Wednesday called on India “to immediately correct its discriminatory measures” over the decision to extend a ban on 59 Chinese apps.

The Indian government recently sent notices to Chinese firms, informing them that the ban, announced in June, will continue. India had in June banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, WeChat and UC Browser, citing national security concerns. A further 118 apps were banned in September and 43 other apps in November last year.

The recent notice was sent after reviewing the responses from the Chinese firms, which had been given the chance to respond to the June move.

The order from the Ministry of Electronics and IT last year said it had received “credible inputs that such apps pose [a] threat to sovereignty and integrity of India” and it had taken the measure "in view of information available they are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order."

Reacting to the move to continue the June ban on 59 apps, the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi said in a statement, “Since last year, the Indian side has repeatedly used national security as an excuse to prohibit some mobile apps with Chinese background.”

"These moves [are] in violation of WTO non-discriminatory principles and fair competition principles of market economy severely damage the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies,” said spokesperson Ji Rong. "The Chinese side firmly opposes them.”

"The Chinese government always asks Chinese companies to observe international rules and local laws and regulations when doing business overseas,” the statement said. "The Indian government has the responsibility to follow WTO rules and market principles and protect the legitimate rights and interests of international investors including Chinese companies.”

The statement said the moves had “hindered the improvement of the Indian business environment and the innovative development of related Indian industries.” “China-India economic and trade cooperation is mutually beneficial by nature,” it said. "We urge the Indian side to immediately correct its discriminatory measures and avoid causing further damage to bilateral cooperation.”

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