Days after India issued an order to ban numerous Chinese apps, China on Thursday, 17 February, raised concerns over the prohibition, expressing its hope that India would treat all foreign investors in a transparent and fair manner.
"We hope India can take concrete measures to maintain the sound development momentum of bilateral economic and trade cooperation," Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters.
Feng added that India should treat all foreign investors, including Chinese firms, in a transparent and non-discriminatory manner.
India Orders Ban on 54 Chinese Apps Posing 'Security Threat'
The central government has issued an order to ban over 54 Chinese apps, calling them a 'threat to privacy and security of Indians,' as per reports. It has directed all app stores to block these applications.
One of these apps, called Garena Free Fire, was the highest grossing mobile game in India in the third quarter of 2021, according to industry tracker App Annie. After the ban, Singapore-based Sea Ltd, the publisher of the game, lost around $16 billion in market value.
Many of these apps belong to large Chinese tech firms like Tencent, Alibaba and NetEase, and are “rebranded or re-christened avatars” of apps that have been banned in India since 2020, according to the report.
They were allegedly transferring sensitive data to Chinese servers.
The 54 banned Chinese apps include Beauty Camera: Sweet Selfie HD, Beauty Camera - Selfie Camera, Equalizer & Bass Booster, CamCard for SalesForce Ent, Isoland 2: Ashes of Time Lite, Viva Video Editor, Tencent Xriver, Onmyoji Chess, Onmyoji Arena, AppLock, Dual Space Lite, ANI reported.
Since June 2020, the government has banned a total of around 224 Chinese apps, including the hugely popular TikTok, Shareit, WeChat, Helo, Likee, UC News, Bigo Live, UC Browser, ES File Explorer, and Mi Community.
(With inputs from Reuters)