Chinese Media Complains: India Decoupling Helps U.S. Economy

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India on Wednesday blocked 118 Chinese-owned apps, citing national security risks.

“[I]n view of the emergent nature of threats … [the government has] decided to block 118 mobile apps … since in view of information available, they are engaged in activities which is [sic] prejudicial to [the] sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, [the] security of [the] state, and public order,” India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said in a statement.

The app ban includes the popular game PUBG Mobile, with 33 million active users in India, and the widely-used search engine Baidu.

The app ban comes amid an ongoing border standoff between India and China, which escalated over the weekend after Tibetan officials said an ethnic Tibetan commander of the Indian army was killed in a border confrontation in the northern Indian territory of Ladakh on Saturday.

On June 29, India banned 59 Chinese-owned apps, including the popular video-sharing app TikTok, following a deadly border skirmish between India and China on June 15, also in Ladakh. The incident marked the deadliest border conflict between the two countries in at least 45 years.

The Global Times on Thursday condemned India’s latest Chinese app ban as a demonstration of its “reckless intention to further decouple with China economically. The move is a double-edged sword which will cause losses to both China and India, while offering a perfect opportunity for the US to take over the market.”

According to the newspaper, “China and the US have been two major investors in India’s IT sectors. With ample accumulation of capital, technology, and experience in emerging markets, Chinese investors have built advantages over American investors in India.”

In the wake of India’s concerted efforts to decouple from the Chinese market, “American capital which had lost advantage in the market will embrace the rosy opportunity to squeeze in and take over Chinese investors’ market share. For instance, [Chinese-owned] Alibaba’s mobile payment platform Alipay has been banned, while [American-owned] Facebook’s WhatsApp has been reportedly trialing a payment service in India,” the CCP mouthpiece noted.