US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has welcomed India’s move of banning 59 Chinese apps in the country, and was quoted by PTI saying “it will boost India’s sovereignty, integrity and national security.”
As per an NDTV report, Pompeo told reporters that ban on certain mobile apps “serves as an appendage of the CCP’s (Chinese Communist Party) surveillance state.”
Some of the mobile applications that have been banned in India include big names like TikTok and ShareIt.
This happened amid India’s economic backlash against China following the 15 June clash in the Galwan valley which led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers.
As a reaction to the ban, Chinese Embassy spokesperson Ji Rong said that “India's measure, selectively and discriminatorily aims at certain Chinese apps on ambiguous and far-fetched grounds, runs against fair and transparent procedure requirements, abuses national security exceptions, and suspects of violating the WTO rules."
On 1 July, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States restricted the use of telecom hardware from Huawei and ZTE, classifying them as security threats due to alleged ties with the Chinese military. This cannot be classified as a ban but more of an economic sanction.
The US government has been engaged in a trade war with the Chinese over the past couple of months. Not only that, but it has also banned US tech companies from engaging with Chinese brands like Huawei and has been demanded by US lawmakers to ban Chinese apps in the country.
TikTok is currently complying with the Indian government’s order and has ceased operations in the country.
Talks between the company stakeholders and the policymakers are yet to take place. However, TikTok has been vocal about the fact that it has been complying with all data privacy policies in India and has not been sharing any information with “any foreign government, including the Chinese.”
Also, the third round of talks between the corps commanders of the Indian and Chinese military concluded on 30 June with no outcome.