Sunday, 12 July, 2020

China Says "Strongly Concerned" After India Blocks Chinese Apps

Chinese apps Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian
Cecil Davis | 01 July, 2020, 00:54

"Ensuring the privacy and security of all our users in India remains our utmost priority".

He said the country has always asked Chinese firms to abide by worldwide rules and local laws as they work with foreign parties, adding that China-India cooperation is mutually beneficial and damaging this is not in India's interest.

"The Indian government has the responsibility to protect the legitimate rights and interests of worldwide investors in India, including Chinese businesses, in accordance with market principles", said spokesperson Zhao Lijian.

India shares USA unease about growing Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean and New Delhi has bolstered defence cooperation with Washington as well as Australia and Japan.

"The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defense of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures", read the statement.

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A day after the Centre banned 59 mobile apps with China links, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that any apps released in the country must adhere to India's data integrity, privacy, sovereignty, and transparency and stressed that the country has to stay "data sovereign".

The ban on Chinese apps, signed by India's powerful Home Minister Amit Shah, asked phone companies to begin blocking the applications Tuesday, as top Army officers from India and China were set to meet for a third time to try to quell tensions and rein back on military build-ups in the disputed border area. Nikhil Gandhi, who oversees TikTok's operations in India, said the firm was "in the process" of complying with India's order and was looking forward to engage with lawmakers in the nation to assuage their concerns. For an example over 20 percent of TikTok's global users are based in India. Abiding the law, TikTok, which is the first app in the list has voluntarily disabled its services in the country today.

Currently, the app does not load any new content for Indian users.

"I want to stress that the Chinese government always asks the Chinese businesses to abide by worldwide rules, local laws and regulations in their business cooperation with foreign countries", he said. India is the fourth worst affected, with almost 570,000 cases and more than 16,000 deaths. So far, it has not.

She urged the "Indian side to change its discriminatory practices, maintain the momentum of China-India economic and trade cooperation, treat all investments and service providers equally, and create an open, fair and just business environment, while bearing in mind the fundamental interests of both sides and the overall interests of bilateral relations".