Ban on selective Chinese apps may violate WTO rules: China

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Ban on selective Chinese apps may violate WTO rules: China
Ban on selective Chinese apps may violate WTO rules: China

New Delhi : China on Sunday slammed India's decision to ban 59 applications claiming as security threat for the nation; it claimed that the move may breach WTO rules. We are "seriously concerned" on the matter, China added. 

TikTok, WeChat, UC Browser and two Xiaomi apps were among 59 blocked by the government on Monday over national security and privacy concerns.

"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 (is) suspected of violating WTO rules. It also goes against the general trend of international trade and e-commerce and is not conducive to consumer interests and market competition in India," Ji Rong, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy, said.

The Chinese government also said "we expect India (will) acknowledge mutually beneficial nature of China-India economic and trade cooperation, and (we) urge the Indian side to change its discriminatory practices... treat all investments and service providers equally... create an open, fair and just business environment".

Pointing out that these apps have millions of users in India - TikTok alone has around 120 million active users - China insisted the apps "have been operating strictly in accordance with Indian laws and regulations" and banning them would also lead to loss of jobs in India for those employed by the app makers.

India's decision to ban 59 mobile phone applications came two weeks after 20 Indian soldiers were martyred at Galwan Valley along LAC.

Meanwhile, Indian government has notified that the ban is interim and final decision will be taken after receiving a response from the banned companies.

On Monday, when India announced the ban, a statement said the apps were blocked "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".