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After Digital Strike 3.0, China Cries Foul, Says App Ban Good For None

After Digital Strike 3.0, China Cries Foul, Says App Ban Good For None

China says India decision wasn’t beneficial to Indian users nor China's businesses

Beijing says the Indian government had violated World Trade Organization rules

Shares of Tencent, which owns PUBG’s mobile fell more than 2% on September 3

A day after India banned 118 Chinese apps, China said on Wednesday (September 2) that the move wasn’t beneficial to the Indian users nor to China’s businesses. Beijing added that the Indian government had violated World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

The latest ban on 118 Chinese apps by India on September 2, included the popular game PUBG. With the fresh crackdown, the number of Chinese apps that have been red-flagged by India now stands at 224.  

Responding to a question on India’s fresh ban on Chinese apps at a Commerce Ministry briefing the Chinese government’s spokesperson Gao Feng said, “The Indian side abused the concept of ‘national security’ and adopted discriminatory restrictive measures against Chinese companies, violating relevant World Trade Organization rules. China urges India to correct its wrong practices.”

At a separate Chinese foreign ministry briefing, spokesperson Hua Chunying in her reaction to the ban on Chinese apps, said, “The Indian user’s rights and interests are first harmed. And, Chinese businesses ‘ rights and interests will also be harmed. So, what India has done is not beneficial to anyone.”

She also noted that the US State Department on the same day cited New Delhi’s ban and called on other countries to join India to roll out the clean network initiative.

Meanwhile, Shenzhen-based tech conglomerate Tencent’s shares fell more than 2% or lost $14 Bn in intra-day trade. This is the second biggest fall in market value for the company in recent times. PUBG’s mobile version was developed by Tencent which holds around 10% stake in the parent company.

Beijing’s latest statement is a reiteration of the stand it took in July, when India had banned 59 Chinese apps. Subsequently, the Chinese state-backed media outlet, The Global Times has said that the loss of Chinese internet company ByteDance (mother company of TikTok) could be as high as $6 Bn.  

The Indian government’s fresh digital offensive has provided an opportunity for homegrown apps to fill the vacuum created. As seen in the social media space with the rise of the likes of Chingari, Mitron, Roposo, Bolo Indya and Trell, the mobile gaming segment will also see the entry of new Indian alternatives as well as the rise of existing titles.