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India tried to launch a new round of crackdown on Chinese app on the grounds of “security threat”. Recently, according to several Indian media reports, the Indian government will once again ban 54 Chinese applications on the grounds of so-called “security threats”. According to statistics, since June 2020, the Indian government has banned about 224 Chinese applications, involving enterprises including Tencent, Alibaba, Netease, etc.   At the same time, another recent ban on drones is also noteworthy. Why does the Indian government frequently suppress Chinese enterprises and investment?  

India bans another 54 Chinese apps

According to a statement by the Indian Ministry of electronics and information technology, the Ministry has received a proposal from the Indian Ministry of the interior to ban 54 Chinese mobile phone applications in accordance with the emergency provisions proposed in Article 69, paragraph a, of the “Information Technology Act”, according to the global network on the 14th. The Ministry of electronics and information technology will officially issue a notice to disable these applications in India.   The Indian Express reported that according to section 69 A of the information technology act, the government “has the right to issue instructions on eavesdropping, monitoring or decrypting any information through any computer resources”. This is usually the case where the government is “convinced of the sovereignty or integrity of India, India’s national defense, national security, friendly relations with foreign countries or public order”, or “to prevent incitement to commit any identifiable crime related to the above-mentioned acts”, or “to investigate any crime”.   It is understood that the Chinese apps banned in India this time are mainly tools, games and video chat, involving enterprises including Tencent, Alibaba, Netease, etc.   The list of banned mobile app in India is also worthy of special attention. It is reported that “free fire” is a big escape survival shooting game, which was launched by Singapore sea group in 2017. Tencent is the largest shareholder of sea group, Bloomberg said. In January this year, Tencent announced that it would reduce its shareholding in sea from 21.3% to 18.7%, and finally reduce its voting rights to less than 10%. Data show that “free fire” is one of the most popular mobile games in the world, with more than 1 billion downloads on Google play. At the same time, this game is very popular in India and is the highest revenue mobile game in India in the third quarter of 2021.  

About 224 Chinese apps have been disabled previously

  According to statistics, China has banned about 224 Chinese applications, including the tiktok TikTok and WeChat (WeChat) since June 2020. This time, India issued a similar ban for the first time in 2022.   Previously, the Indian government banned Chinese app and repeatedly used the excuse of “national security”. In June 2020, when the Indian Ministry of information technology announced the ban on 59 Chinese applications, it said that these applications “damage India’s sovereignty and integrity, national security and public order”. It also mentioned that these applications have security problems, “at the same time, people also have worrying problems in all aspects related to data security and protecting the privacy of 1.3 billion Indians”. According to the Ministry of information technology of India, many complaints “from various sources” pointed out that some of them had data abuse on Android and IOS systems. These applications stole user data in an unauthorized way and secretly transmitted it to servers outside India.   In November 2020, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that since June of the same year, India has banned mobile apps with Chinese background on the pretext of so-called safeguarding national security for four consecutive times. China firmly opposes such practices, which clearly violate market principles and WTO rules and seriously damage the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises. The Chinese government has always required Chinese enterprises to carry out foreign cooperation on the basis of abiding by international rules and local laws and regulations. The Indian government has the responsibility to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of international investors, including Chinese enterprises, in accordance with market principles. The essence of China India Economic and trade cooperation is mutual benefit and win-win results. India should immediately correct this discriminatory practice and avoid causing greater harm to bilateral cooperation.  

Why frequently suppress Chinese enterprises and investment?

  In addition to banning Chinese app, India recently announced another ban.   According to India’s business today magazine reported on February 10, the Indian Ministry of civil aviation said that India’s General Administration of foreign trade announced a ban on the import of foreign UAVs from the 9th of this month. However, the import of UAVs for R & D, national defense and security purposes is not within the scope of the ban, but it still needs to be approved; Meanwhile, the import of UAV components will not be affected. Many Indian media believe that this move is intended to respond to the modi government’s “made in India” policy to promote local production.   India is one of several countries in the world trying to find alternatives to Chinese products and parts, New Delhi television said on the 10th. India banned the import of drones, which actually prevented the Chinese drone giant from entering the emerging market of India.   Reuters previously analyzed that the Indian government frequently suppressed Chinese enterprises and investment for two reasons: first, the rising nationalism in India, and many Indian traders and nationalist organizations called for a boycott of Chinese products; Second, since Indian Prime Minister modi took office, he has been trying to promote the “self-reliance” policy and localized production.   However, at present, this crackdown seems to have little impact on trade exchanges between China and India. Recently, the Reference News quoted data from New Delhi as saying that the trade volume between China and India exceeded US $100 billion for the first time in 2021, which is a new milestone in the history of bilateral exchanges. Among them, India imported $87.905 billion from China and exported about $26.358 billion, an increase of 49.0% and 38.5% respectively.