China accuses India of discrimination over latest app ban

China accuses India of discrimination over latest app ban

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Beijing: Beijing lashed out in India on Wednesday after the country banned another batch of Chinese apps for national security reasons. This is the latest pain point between two nuclear-armed neighbors.

In June, a deadly clash occurred in a disputed border area, killing 20 Indian soldiers, the number of Chinese casualties is unknown, and tensions between Beijing and New Delhi remain high.

India banned 43 Chinese apps on Tuesday — including some from e-commerce giant Alibaba — for threatening “sovereignty and integrity”.

China said it had “serious concerns” about the move and India’s “so-called pretext of upholding national security”.

“The relevant methods clearly violate market principles and WTO guidelines, and severely harm Chinese companies’ legal rights and interests,” said foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian at a regular press briefing in Beijing.

“India should immediately redress these discriminative methods to avoid even bigger damage to bilateral cooperation,” he said.

New Delhi has previously withdrawn 59 Chinese applications from its huge domestic market-including the popular video-sharing platform TikTok-September banned 118 Chinese mobile applications.

The latest version of the banned apps include Alibaba’s AliExpress and delivery service Lalamove, as well as dating and live streaming services.

Alibaba’s investments in the booming Indian online market include digital payment platform Paytm and online grocery store BigBasket.

Anti-China sentiment has soared in India since the clash and sparked calls for a boycott of goods from the neighbouring country.

India’s imports from China, dominated by toys, cosmetics, home appliances, auto components and steel, totalled $74.9 billion last year, according to New Delhi. 

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