New Delhi: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Tuesday said that China is “strongly concerned” about India’s decision to ban 59 of its apps alleging “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”. Also Read - TikTok Returning in India After July 22?
Expressing grave concerns during the Corps Commander-level meeting between Indian and Chinese armies to resolve the Galwan Valley crisis, spokesperson Lijian said that China was still verifying the situation. Also Read - Amazon Employees Receive 'Delete TikTok' Email, eCommerce Giant Says it Was 'Sent in Error'
“We want to stress that the Chinese government always asks Chinese businesses to abide by international and local laws-regulations. Indian Govt has a responsibility to uphold the legal rights of international investors including Chinese ones,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry stated. Also Read - Sonam Wangchuk Calls China Violator of Human Rights in Tibet And Uighur, Reminds of 'Wallet Power'
Notably, popular video-sharing app TikTok, as well as Helo, have already issued their clarification that they are in the process of complying with government orders as they were the first to be removed from Google Play Store and iOS App Store. The central government banned the Chinese apps, including some very popular apps like TikTok, UC Browser, CamScanner, ShareIt, Shein, Helo and more, on Monday evening.
These measures have been undertaken fearing a threat to cybersecurity and data privacy. “There have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians. It has been noted recently that such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of our country,” the government said in a statement.
Notably, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had received complaints from various sources including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms, allegedly stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India.
The recommendations of the intelligence agencies have been backed by the National Security Council Secretariat which determined that certain China-linked applications could be detrimental to the country’s security.
The ban is expected to have a severe impact on Chinese companies like Bytedance, and Xiaomi that have a massive user base of more than 50 per cent in India. Interestingly, while the Centre banned some of Alibaba group-run apps like UC Browser and WeChat, the popular e-commerce website AliExpress remains functional.
Besides, many of these apps such as UC News and others have offices and employees in India, which can adversely affect scores of Indian employees whose jobs could be at stake.