BEIJING: Hit hard by India’s move to ban 118 apps, including popular online gaming app PUBG, China on Thursday (September 4) said India’s decision to ban 118 Chinese apps is not beneficial to Indian users nor to China’s businesses and claimed it violated WTO rules.

Responding to a question on India’s fresh ban on Chinese apps at a Commerce Ministry briefing in Beijing, spokesman Gao said, “The Indian side abused the concept of ‘national security’ and adopted discriminatory restrictive measures against Chinese companies, violating relevant World Trade Organisation rules. China urges India to correct its wrong practices.” 

“China-India economic and trade cooperation is mutually beneficial and win-win. It is hoped that the two countries will jointly maintain the hard-won cooperation and development situation and create an open and fair business environment for international investors and service providers, including Chinese companies,” state-run CGTN quoted Gao as saying.

At a separate Chinese Foreign Ministry briefing, spokesperson Hua Chunying in her reaction to the ban on Chinese apps, said, “By banning these hi-tech, easy-to-use and popular apps, the Indian side is sacrificing first and foremost the rights and interests of the Indian users, and damaging those of Chinese companies. Therefore, no one gains from such an action.”

India, on September 2, banned 118 more mobile apps with Chinese links, citing data privacy concerns and a threat to national security, taking the total count of Chinese-linked mobile apps banned by New Delhi to 224. India’s move came amid fresh border tensions with China in eastern Ladakh.

With this, the total number of Chinese-linked mobile apps banned by India has risen to 224. “The Government blocks 118 mobile apps which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order,” a statement from the Electronics and IT Ministry had said.

The 118 apps banned on Wednesday include Baidu, Baidu Express Edition, Alipay, Tencent Watchlist, FaceU, WeChat reading, Government WeChat, Tencent Weiyun, APUS Launcher Pro, APUS Security, Cut Cut, ShareSave by Xiaomi, and CamCard, besides PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite, according to an official government release.

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