China says India’s latest app ban order violates WTO rules

Chinese embassy spokesperson Ji Rong said the Chinese government has always required that overseas Chinese companies “abide by international rules, operate in compliance with laws and regulations and conform to public order and good morals”.

China opposed India’s decision to ban 43 more Chinese-origin mobile phone applications on security grounds and contended that the move violated the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

On Tuesday, India imposed a fresh ban on Chinese-origin apps, the fourth time it has done so since the border standoff in the Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) emerged in the open in May. With this, the total number of Chinese-origin apps banned by India has gone up to 267.

“We firmly oppose the Indian side’s repeated use of ‘national security’ as an excuse to prohibit some mobile apps with a Chinese background,” said Chinese embassy spokesperson Ji Rong.

Ji called on India to withdraw the ban on the ground that it went against the WTO’s rules.

“We hope the Indian side provides a fair, impartial and non-discriminatory business environment for all market players from various countries, including China, and rectify the discriminatory practices violating WTO rules,” she said.

The Chinese government, Ji said, has always required that overseas Chinese companies “abide by international rules, operate in compliance with laws and regulations and conform to public order and good morals”.

China and India represent “opportunities of development to each other rather than threats”, Ji said, reiterating a line taken by Beijing since the border standoff began.

India initially banned 59 Chinese-origin apps on June 29, before banning 47 more on July 28, 118 more on September 2, and 43 more on November 24. Among the apps banned on Tuesday was one of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s AliExpress app.

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