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China calls India’s ban on 118 apps ‘discriminatory restrictions’

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A fresh crisis erupted last Sunday when India pre-emptively thwarted Chinese intentions to unilaterally change the status quo on the southern bank of Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh.

Beijing: Hit hard by India’s move to ban 118 apps, including PUBG, China on Thursday termed the action as ‘discriminatory restrictions’ on Chinese companies and alleged that it violated World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

Gao Feng, the spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Commerce, said that the Chinese side expressed serious concern and firm objection to India’s decision, Chinese state-run Global Times reported. India’s move to ban PUBG Mobile and 117 other Chinese apps on Wednesday came after fresh Chinese aggression in the Indian territory at Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh.

“This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace,” India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said in a statement, announcing the ban on the apps. India has so far banned over 200 Chinese apps, including short video-sharing platform TikTok and UC Browser, owned by Alibaba.

The latest list of banned Chinese apps includes some from Baidu, Alibaba and Alibaba’s financial arm Ant Group, besides PUBG. Citing industry observers and entrepreneurs, the Global Times report said that India has taken a “self-defeating” move which will further drive away Chinese investors and hurt its virus-hit economy.

The report said that New Delhi is following Washington in “decoupling with China”, even as it argued that India “cannot afford the cost of an economic decoupling with Beijing”.

The investment from the US is unlikely to make up for Chinese investment, said the mouthpiece of the Xi Jinping government, citing industry analysts.

India and China have remained locked in a stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh since June this year.

A fresh crisis erupted last Sunday when India pre-emptively thwarted Chinese intentions to unilaterally change the status quo on the southern bank of Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh.

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