Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters on Tuesday that the government expressed “strong attention” to the ban. He said that the authorities are still “inspecting and verifying information about the situation”, but he added, “It is India’s responsibility to maintain the legal rights of international investors.”
The Indian government said in a statement on Monday that it had received complaints about some mobile applications misusing user data and transmitting it to foreign servers. It said: “The compilation of these data, its extraction and analysis of the hostile elements of India’s national security and defense… is a very profound and urgent issue that requires urgent measures.”
The ban on using the app is the latest upgrade in tension between India and China. The tension between India and China occurred at the border conflict in the Himalayas earlier this month, killing at least 20 Indian soldiers.
According to data from the World Bank, India imported more goods from China than any other country. In 2018, it bought more than $90 billion worth of products, including machinery and electronics, chemicals and consumer products. Its exports to China are less than one-fifth of the amount.
Now, the dispute is spreading to the technology field, threatening the billions of dollars invested by Chinese technology giants in India.
Gareth Price, a senior researcher in the Asia-Pacific project at Chatham House, a British think tank, said the application ban is a new battleground for the Indian government to strengthen its strength and encourage Indians to use local products.
Price said: “Threats to boycott Chinese goods or ban Chinese applications may harm China, but unless India has other options, this is an empty threat.” “China has made what India wants to buy.”
If the ban persists, Chinese apps may lose in India’s booming digital advertising market. According to advertising media company GroupM, the Indian digital advertising market will grow by 26% this year to nearly 280 billion rupees ($3.7 billion) .
— Rishi Iyengar and Sherisse Pham contributed to this report.