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Chinese state media banned more than 100 Chinese apps from India, calling it a nationalist sentiment and a move to make China economically weak.
India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on Tuesday released a list of 118 apps that will be banned in the country, including the flagship gaming titles of Tencent and NetEase and services from Baidu and Alibaba affiliate Ant Group.
The Indian government cited national security concerns as a reason behind the ban.
India’s move is against the backdrop of growing geopolitical tensions with China over the disputed Himalayan mountain range in the region of Ladakh. Tension has increased again after a deadly skirmish between the two nations that left 20 Indian soldiers killed in June.
China’s state media has criticized India’s actions.
The Global Times, a tabloid under the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s Communist Party, said India’s app ban shows a “reckless intent to economically decompose more” with the world’s second-largest economy .
“The move is a double-edged sword that will cause damage to both China and India, while giving the US a perfect opportunity to capture the market.”
Experts also told CNBC that American technology giants such as Facebook and Google could take advantage of the massive crackdown on Chinese technology by India, helping the country’s domestic start-ups.
According to think tank Gateway House, Chinese companies and investors have invested an estimated $ 4 billion in India’s start-ups.
The Global Times claimed, “New Delhi, hidden behind a highly symbolic move into real causes, aims to harm China and harm Chinese investors.” . ‘
China Daily, another Chinese state-backed publication, called New Delhi’s actions “a deceptive ploy that serves no interest, except for nationalist sentiment and linguism in India.”
A Tencent-developed game called “PUBG Mobile Nordic Map: Livik” was on the list of banned apps. It was the highest-grossing app in terms of revenue in the entire list, according to Censor Tower.
China Daily claimed that this is a “massive setback” for streamers, professional players and businesses whose “livelihood depends on it.”
The state-backed publication said, “Yet all this is not on the minds of politicians in New Delhi, whose only concern is how to overcome hostility towards China, no matter what.”
India’s economy fell 23.9% in the second quarter of this year while it is struggling to stop the outbreak of coronovirus. The China Daily alleged that the border dispute with China was “an easy tool to divert public attention from the virus and cover up their ineptitude in governance.”