An expected war of words ensued Thursday between India and China following a ban on more Chinese mobile apps with
accusing India of violating legal interests of Chinese investors and also suggesting that India may be acting in tandem with the US on the issue.
While the Chinese commerce ministry asked India to correct its mistake and not abuse the "concept of national security", the MEA justified the ban saying that India expected foreign companies to work within the country's regulatory framework. With no sign of tensions abating at the border in eastern Ladakh, India had Wednesday banned 118 mobile apps including the popular PUBG.
"India runs one of the most open FDI regimes in the world, including for internet and digital technology companies. All digital technology companies, while operating here, have the responsibility to abide by the rules and regulations issued by relevant ministries and departments of government of India and particularly those rules and regulations that pertain to data security and privacy of data," said MEA spokesperson
The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, wondered at a press briefing earlier if India was influenced by the US in banning the apps and recalled how popular India's own instruments of
, Tagore and yoga, were in China. She also quoted from Tagore's poetry to suggest India may be reading the situation wrong.
The Indian official added though that these apps had engaged in activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India. These were also detrimental to India's defence and to the security of state and public order, he said.
The Chinese embassy came up with another statement after the comments from MEA, saying that China was seriously concerned and firmly opposed the ban on apps with Chinese background in the name of "national security".
"We urge the Indian government to rectify the discriminatory practices violating WTO rules, and provide an open, fair and impartial business environment for all market players from various countries including China," said the spokesperson. Claiming that Chinese overseas companies abide by international rules and operate in compliance with local laws, the embassy said India's action will not only harm the
and interests of Chinese investors and service providers, but also hurt Indian consumers and the investment environment.
"Suppression, self-seclusion and restrictions cannot benefit one country's development. It's the right way to integrate into global cooperation by being open, fair and transparent," said the official, repeating the Chinese line that the 2 countries were opportunities for each other and not strategic threats.
"The essence of economic and trade cooperation between China and India is for mutual benefit and win-win results. We hope that India will work with China to maintain the hard-won cooperation and development situation, and return to the right path of win-win cooperation," added the official.