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National security an excuse to ban apps, says China, tells India not to hurt ties

NEW DELHI: Calling India’s permanent ban on 59 Chinese mobile apps discriminatory, Beijing on Wednesday accused India of repeatedly using national security as an excuse for taking action that violated WTO rules.
The Chinese embassy here urged the Indian government to immediately correct its “discriminatory measures” and avoid causing further damage to bilateral cooperation. It said since last year, the Indian side had repeatedly used national security as an excuse to “prohibit some mobile apps with Chinese background” and that the Chinese side strongly opposed India’s actions. “These moves, in violation of WTO non-discriminatory principles and fair competition principles of market economy, severely damage the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies, ”spokesperson Ji Rong said.
India banned 59 Chinese apps in the middle of the military standoff along LAC last June. In September, 118 more Chinese apps were blocked.
The ministry of information technology had blocked the apps under Section 6A of the Information Technology Act after learning the apps engaged in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India. The spokesperson said the Chinese government always asked Chinese companies to observe international rules and local laws and regulations when doing business overseas.
“The Indian government has the responsibility to follow WTO rules and market principles and protect the legitimate rights and interests of international investors, including Chinese companies. These moves of the Indian government have also hindered improvement of the Indian business environment and the innovative development of related Indian industries, ”the official said, adding that China-India economic and trade cooperation was mutually beneficial.

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