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China: Selective Indian Ban of TikTok and other Chinese apps is against WTO rules

Earlier this week, the Indian government had banned 59 Chinese smartphone applications. This ban included popular social media apps like TikTok and more. Now, Ji Rong, spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in India, has said in a statement that China “firmly opposed” this decision and it is a “violation of World Trade Organisation rules.”

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TikTok and 58 other apps banned by the Indian Government

Back in Monday, India had banned these 59 applications that included WeChat, TikTok, Helo, and others due to alleged threats they pose to the country’s “sovereignty and security.” Popular apps like ShareIT, UC Browser, CamScanner, Shein, and Club Factory were also on this list, with the ban being imposed under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act.

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Ji Rong stated that “We expect India acknowledges the mutually beneficial nature of China-India economic and trade cooperation, and urge the Indian side to change its discriminatory practices, maintain the momentum of China-India economic and trade cooperation, treat all investments and service providers equally, and create an open, fair and just business environment while bearing in mind the fundamental interests of both sides and the overall interests of bilateral relations.”

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While China’s stance is against this move, the Indian government has claimed that these applications are engaged in activities that are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.” In other words, they pose a risk to its citizens, in regard to data security and privacy. Notably, the ban arrives shortly after recent military clashes along the Indo-Chinese borders. Friction has been increasing in the region and recent casualties have stirred anti-Chinese sentiments in the country.

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