Members of Working Journalists Association of India stage a protest against China, demanding boycott of Chinese products and newspaper The Global Times at Press Club of India. Photo: PTI
Reacting to the ban on 59 Chinese apps by India, the Chinese government has warned that moves like this could hurt Indian interests and retaliation by China must not be ruled out.
The spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in India, Ji Rong, said that the move has been discriminatory and selective, and may have violated World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.
Ji's statement was echoed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), where in Beijing, spokesman Zhao Lijian said, China has strong concern about India's move.
"The Chinese government consistently asks Chinese enterprises to abide by international rules and local laws and regulations when conducting external cooperation. The Indian government has the responsibility to protect the legitimate rights and interests of international investors in India, including Chinese businesses, in accordance with market principles. Practical cooperation between China and India is mutually beneficial. Deliberate interference in such cooperation will not serve the interests of the Indian side", Zhou said.
However, the Chinese Embassy in Delhi was even more forthright in its denunciation of the Indian move, calling it measures taken on 'ambiguous and far-fetched grounds'. "The ban will affect not only the employment of local Indian workers who support these apps but also the interests of Indian users and the employment and livelihoods of many creators and entrepreneurs", Ji said. Striking a note of warning, he said China could retaliate.
"We expect India acknowledges the mutually beneficial nature of China-India economic and trade cooperation, and urge the Indian side to change its discriminatory practices, maintain the momentum of China-India economic and trade cooperation, treat all investments and service providers equally, and create an open, fair and just business environment, while bearing in mind the fundamental interests of both sides and the overall interests of bilateral relations."