China expresses strong concern over Indian ban on mobile apps

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China on Tuesday expressed strong concern over India’s ban of Chinese mobile apps as tensions continue to escalate between the two Asian giants following their border clash at Ladakh a few weeks ago.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters during a daily briefing that India has a responsibility to uphold the rights of Chinese businesses.

India on Monday banned 59, mostly Chinese, mobile apps including Bytedance’s TikTok, Alibaba’s UC Browser, and Tencent’s WeChat citing security concerns, New Delhi said in a statement.

The apps are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”, the ministry of information technology said.

The ban comes after a deadly border conflict between the two nuclear-armed nations earlier this month in which 20 Indian soldiers have died.

“The Ministry of Information Technology, invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 59 apps since in view of information available they are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order,” the press release said.

India’s Minister for Electronics and Information Technology and Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the step was taken for “safety, security, defence, sovereignty and integrity of India.”