New Delhi : Against the backdrop of New Delhi’s fresh ban on 47 clones of prohibited Chinese apps, Beijing said on Tuesday that it will take “necessary measures” to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.
India’s June 29 ban on 59 mobile apps with Chinese background, including WeChat, “severely damaged the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies”, Chinese embassy spokesperson Ji Rong said in a statement.
“The Indian government has the responsibility to protect the legitimate rights and interests of international investors in India, including Chinese businesses, in accordance with market principles,” she added.
“The Chinese side has lodged solemn representation to the Indian side and asked the Indian side to correct its wrongdoings,” Ji said, responding to a media query on whether WeChat was asked to stop providing services to its Indian users.
The ban orders for the Chinese apps and their clones are among a string of economic measures unveiled by the Indian government in the wake of the months-old border standoff between the two countries.
There was no immediate reaction by Indian officials to the Chinese spokesperson’s comments.
Following the death of 20 Indian soldiers in a brutal clash with Chinese troops in Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), there were demands from the public and political parties for restrictions on trade ties with China.
Spokesperson Ji said the Chinese government “consistently asks Chinese enterprises to abide by international rules and local laws and regulations when conducting external cooperation”.
She added, “Practical cooperation between China and India is mutually beneficial. Deliberate interference in such cooperation will not serve the interests of the Indian side. China will also take necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.”
Despite the June 29 ban, Indian users of WeChat were able to use the communication app till the weekend. When users sought to use the app this week, they received a message saying services were not available due to local restrictions.
On Monday, India’s information and technology ministry announced the fresh ban on 47 apps, most of them clones and variants of the apps banned in June. The total number of Chinese-origin mobile applications blocked is 106.
The government is also examining other Chinese apps for violating user privacy and national security.