India bans apps from China

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DThe Indian government bends to the pressure of the masses and pulls the reins against China clearly. Almost 60 Chinese apps are banned, including Tiktok, which has around 200 million users in India alone.

Business correspondent for South Asia / Pacific based in Singapore.

Since the fighting on the Chinese-Indian border line in the Himalayan region of Ladakh, in which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives, the anti-Chinese mood in India has swelled considerably. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is politically dependent on Beijing, initially tried to appease against expectations. But that only fueled the anger of the people on the street.

The subcontinent with its almost 1.4 billion people also offers the last big growth market for Chinese Internet companies. Around half of the Indians are already online and their number is growing rapidly. For weeks there have been campaigns to harm China by switching off the Chinese apps. However, it remains open which ones count as “Chinese apps” – those that are in the hands of mainland Chinese companies, those from Hong Kong, or also those that were developed by Chinese?

Data security as a reason

Now the government in New Delhi has banned 59 apps, including world-famous networks such as Wechat, UC browser from Alibaba, Shareit and Baidu Map. However, the Ministry of Information Technology does not cite the war with the neighboring country as a reason for retaliation. It accuses the China apps of “stealing user data” and transferring it to servers located outside of India.

“Bringing this data together and evaluating it through elements hostile to our national security and defense defends our national sovereignty at the end of the day and leads to very serious concerns that require immediate action in crisis mode,” a statement said .

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The government is naming similar concerns as it did with the rejection of the telecommunications equipment supplier Huawei and the exclusion of Chinese port operators from the overdue expansion of Indian ports. Indian soldiers had been ordered to delete Chinese apps like Weibo from their mobile phones a long time ago.

India tightened laws against Chinese investment weeks ago. Modi wrestles against an economic crisis that has been exacerbated by the Corona virus. He hoped to benefit from the trade disputes between the West and China and publicly wooed investors to leave China for India. China had deeply provoked the front he was building against Beijing. The anger against China is spreading: the association of hotel and restaurant operators in Delhi, which has around 3000 member companies, has now excluded all Chinese guests.

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