NEW DELHI: China on Tuesday said that it is strongly concerned and verifying the situation after India imposed a ban on 59 mobile applications, most of which are linked to China. Speaking on the issue, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, “China is strongly concerned, and we are verifying the situation.”
Zhao Lijian further said that India has a responsibility to uphold the legal rights of Chinese businesses.
“We want to stress that the Chinese Government always asks Chinese businesses to abide by international and local laws-regulations. Indian Government has a responsibility to uphold the legal rights of international investors including Chinese ones,” Zhao Lijian said during a press briefing.
The reaction from the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson came after the Indian government announced a ban on 59 Chinese mobile apps citing 'security concerns.'
India had on Monday banned 59 apps with Chinese links, including hugely popular TikTok and UC Browser, saying that they were "engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order".
The list of apps that have been banned also includes Helo, Likee, Cam Scanner, SHAREit, WeChat, Vigo Video, Mi Video Call - Xiaomi, Clash of Kings as well as e-commerce platforms Club Factory and Shein.
The decision came close on the heels of ongoing border tension between India and China that escalated on June 15 when 20 Indian Army personnel were martyred after violent clashes with Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control in Galwan Valley of eastern Ladakh.
In a statement, the Information Technology Ministry said it has received many complaints from various sources, including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for "stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India".
"The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures," the statement said, asserting that the move will "safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users".
The ministry said that it decided to disallow the usage of the apps after taking note of growing public concerns on aspects relating to data security and privacy.
The government’s move has been highly welcomed by the industry. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said that the ban will be a big support to its ‘Boycott Chinese Goods’ campaign.