India has just banned 43 Chinese applications on its soil after geopolitical tensions emerged between the two border countries.
A question of security
In June 2020 there was a conflict between the Indian and Chinese armed forces in the Himalayas, in which 20 soldiers on the Indian side were killed. After this tragedy, the country announced the ban on 60 applications developed by companies from the Middle Kingdom, and in particular the giant TikTok, thereby losing its most important market. The South Asian country has since banned dozens of Chinese apps, and this latest wave brings that number to 170.
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Among the platforms affected, many come from Chinese giants such as AliExpress, Alipay, UC Browser and Alibaba Workbench, which are part of the Alibaba group, or WeChat, Tencent’s super application. These cuts are a severe blow to Chinese companies. India is a colossal and expanding market indeed. While Alibaba was betting heavily on it, the company was forced to stop investing there.
To justify itself, India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology cites security issues: “This action was taken on the basis of contributions to these applications to carry out activities that are detrimental to the environment. Sovereignty and integrity of India, Defense of India, State security and public order ”.
A global trend
Although India is the country taking the toughest measures against Chinese companies, it is far from being alone. The trade war between the United States and China is affecting the whole world. This is particularly evident with the introduction of 5G: Many European countries prohibit their operators from using Huawei devices for network provisioning. Suspicions of espionage on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party are affecting businesses in the country. In addition, similar measures could be adopted in India.
So far, the smartphone market has not been affected by the Indian government’s measures. Chinese cell phones are a legion in the country and despite the threat of boycotts, the numbers show no real loss of speed, the Wall Street Journal notes.