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India's Chinese app bans violate WTO rules: China

'India banned Chinese apps 4 times since June, must correct discriminatory behaviour'

zhao lijian Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian | Official website

China on Wednesday said it was firmly opposed to India's decision to block 43 more Chinese apps on national security grounds, claiming the move violated WTO rules.

India on Tuesday blocked 43 more Chinese mobile apps, including Alibaba Group Holding's e-commerce app AliExpress, in a fresh wave of web sanctions amid its border standoff with China.

The banned applications, which include a few dating apps, were a threat to the "sovereignty and integrity of India", an official statement said in New Delhi.

The Ministry of Electronics and IT issued the order for blocking the access of these apps by users in India based on the comprehensive reports received from Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Center, Ministry of Home Affairs, the release said.

Earlier on June 29 this year, the government had blocked access to 59 mobile apps and on September 2, another 118 apps were banned under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act. 

The ban had come in the backdrop of border tensions with China in eastern Ladakh since May.

Asked for his reaction to the latest ban on Chinese apps by India, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here China expresses serious concern over India's move.

Since June this year four times India has imposed restrictions on smartphone apps that have Chinese backgrounds under the pretext of national security, he said.

"This behaviour violates market principles and World Trade Organisation rules severely undermines the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies. China firmly rejects it, the spokesman said.

Zhao said the Chinese government always asks its companies to abide by international rules and local laws and regulations when doing business overseas.

Following the market principles, the Indian government has the responsibility to protect their lawful rights and interests of international investors, including Chinese companies, he said.

He said the nature of China India economic and trade cooperation is mutually beneficial. 

"We urge the Indian side to immediately correct its discriminatory behaviour and avoid further damage to bilateral cooperation, he said. 

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