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China Urges India to Withdraw Ban on TikTok, Other Apps; Says Decision Violates WTO Rules
Issuing a statement, China urged the Indian government to avoid causing further damage to bilateral cooperation.
New Delhi: Two days after the Central government decided to permanently ban 59 Chinese mobile applications including TikTok, Beijing on Wednesday reacted to the development and said New Delhi’s move was a violation of the World Trade Organization’s fair rules of business and would hurt Chinese firms.
Issuing a statement, China urged the Indian government to immediately withdraw the measures and avoid causing further damage to bilateral cooperation.
“We urge the Indian side to immediately correct its discriminatory measures and avoid causing further damage to bilateral cooperation,” Chinese embassy spokesperson Ji Rong said in a statement.
On January 25, the Centre decided to permanently ban 59 Chinese mobile applications including TikTok. Notably, the ban dates from last year when political tension between the neighbours rose over their disputed border. This month the Indian government decided to keep the ban on TikTok and other apps.
The development comes several months after the government had first banned Chinese apps temporarily in last June. However, the Centre had sought responses from the companies on the show cause notices, but reports said that it is not satisfied with their responses.
According to people in the know, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has sent notices to 59 apps including Tiktok.
The ministry suspended access to the apps in India last year amid the border tussle with China. It had said that these measures were undertaken on the basis of credible information that these apps are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.
The Chinese apps under interim ban include Club Factory, SHAREit, Likee, Mi Video Call (Xiaomi), Weibo, Baidu, BIGO LIVE, WeChat, UC Browser and Xiaomi’s Mi Community.
Meanwhile, Chinese social media firm Bytedance, which owns Tiktok and Helo apps, has announced the closure of its India business following continued restrictions on its services in the country.
Tiktok’s global interim head Vanessa Pappas and vice president for global business solutions Blake Chandlee in a joint email to employees have communicated the decision of the company that it is reducing team size and the decision will impact all employees in India.
“While we don’t know when we will make a comeback in India, we are confident in our resilience, and desire to do so in times to come,” the email said.
Bytedance said that the decision to ban its app came despite the company complying with local laws and regulations.