India Bans 43 Apps in New Wave of Internet Sanctions Against China | Asia-Pacific News


The predominantly Chinese apps threaten “India’s sovereignty and integrity,” the country’s technology ministry said.

India on Tuesday banned 43 mobile apps, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s e-commerce app, Aliexpress, in a new wave of web sanctions targeting China with which it has entered a months-long standoff on a border site of the Himalayas.The 43 predominantly Chinese apps, which also include a few dating apps, threaten “India’s sovereignty and integrity,” the Federal Ministry of Technology said in a statement.

India has previously banned more than 170 apps saying they collect and share user data, which could pose a threat to the state.

The move, which India’s technology minister called a “digital strike,” was initiated after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a skirmish with Chinese troops at a disputed Himalayan border site in June.

Aliexpress is not a major player in the emerging e-commerce market in India, led by Flipkart of Walmart Inc. and the local unit of Inc. It is, however, popular with some motorcycle enthusiasts and small traders, who use it to obtain inexpensive products.

The move is another setback for Chinese giant Alibaba, which is the biggest investor in Indian tech company Paytm and also supports online grocer BigBasket.

Its UC Web subsidiary laid off staff in India earlier this year after New Delhi first banned 59 Chinese-born mobile apps that included UC Web’s browser and two other products.

The Chinese tech giant has also been forced to suspend plans to invest in Indian companies following border tensions between the two nuclear-weapon countries, Reuters news agency previously reported.

The numerous app bans in India have also shaken the ambitions of Chinese tech titans such as Bytedance and Tencent in the South Asian country, which is trying to reduce Beijing’s influence in its burgeoning internet economy.


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