China on Thursday said India's decision to ban 118 Chinese apps is neither beneficial to Indian users nor China's businesses, claiming it violated WTO rules.
India on Wednesday banned 118 more mobile apps with Chinese links, including the popular game PUBG, citing data privacy concerns and a threat to national security, taking the total count of Chinese-linked mobile apps banned by New Delhi to 224. India's move came amid fresh border tensions with China in eastern Ladakh.
Responding to a question on India's fresh ban on Chinese apps at a Commerce Ministry briefing, spokesman Gao Feng said, "The Indian side abused the concept of ''national security'' and adopted discriminatory restrictive measures against Chinese companies, violating relevant World Trade Organisation rules. China urges India to correct its wrong practices."
"China-India economic and trade cooperation is mutually beneficial and win-win. It is hoped that the two countries will jointly maintain the hard-won cooperation and development situation and create an open and fair business environment for international investors and service providers, including Chinese companies," state-run CGTN quoted the spokesperson as saying.
At a separate Chinese Foreign Ministry briefing, spokesperson Hua Chunying, in her reaction to the ban on Chinese apps, said, "By banning these hi-tech, easy-to-use and popular apps, the Indian side is sacrificing first and foremost the rights and interests of the Indian users, and damaging those of Chinese companies. Therefore, no one gains from such an action."
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 join the Clean Network programme.
"I wonder if there's connection or coordination between India and the US on this issue," she claimed.
"But India, as a country proudly possessing an ancient civilisation, is wise enough to have known about Dirtbox, PRISM, Irritant Horn, Muscular and Undersea Cable Tapping. It knows fully well whether the US is clean or dirty when it comes to US policies and practices.
"Independence is so precious. We hope that the Indian side will stick to it. No short-sighted decisions shall be made to impede the long-term interests of the two countries and two peoples," Hua said, any avoiding any reference to the border tensions.
She noted that both countries are close neighbours and proud of their civilisations. The start of our exchange and mutual learning can date back to 1,000 years ago. The great Indian poet Tagore is very popular in China.
He wrote, "We read the world wrong and say that it deceives us." Yoga and Indian movies like "Dangal" are also very popular in China, she said.
"However, it never crossed our mind that India is trying to infiltrate or pose any threat to our country," she said in an updated statement released by the Chinese foreign ministry.
She said the intermingling of different cultures is conducive to promoting people's mutual understanding and friendship.
"So, we hope that India will attach importance to the two peoples'' friendship and long-term interests and work to promote bilateral exchange and cooperation in various fields," the spokesperson said.