Journal : Global Times (Chinese) Date : Author : Page No. : 3

India has banned mobile phone apps developed by Chinese companies such as Xiaomi and Baidu, Reuters reported on 6 June, citing three Indian government sources. This is the latest move by India to crack down on Chinese companies since the China-India border standoff. In a response to this sent to The Indian Express, Xiaomi said it was aware of the developments and would take appropriate measures. Baidu, for its part, declined to comment.

According to the report, in June of this year, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of India banned 59 Chinese mobile phone applications on the ground that “sovereignty and national security are threatened.” Recently, it imposed a ban on 47 applications, including Xiaomi browsing. And Baidu search engine. However, a source said that the Indian government has not announced the latest decision, so it is not clear which applications have been affected. It is said that most Xiaomi smartphones are pre-installed with the Xiaomi browser, and the relevant ban may mean that the company needs to stop installing the browser on new devices sold in India. Reuters quoted Hong Kong technology research company Counterpoint as saying that Xiaomi mobile phones are the number one selling brand in the Indian smartphone market, with nearly 90 million users. According to reports, the above-mentioned ban is part of India’s “counterattack” against China’s dominance in the country’s Internet service market.

At the same time, India’s “Mint” reported on the 6th that the Indian Ministry  of Power stated that it had cancelled its purchase contract with Indonesia’s PT Hexing for 2 million smart meters on the grounds that it “did not meet the bidding conditions” and had reopened the bidding. According to reports, this company is actually part of the Haixing Group, which is headquartered in Hangzhou, China. Previously, the Modi government had announced that it would replace all electricity meters with smart prepaid electricity meters by 2022. In addition, the Indian Super Cricket League (IPL) on the 6th suspended its cooperation agreement with its main sponsor, the Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Vivo.

An anonymous Indian official told the Global Times reporter on the 6th that the Indian government will increasingly restrict Chinese goods and services based on the “rules of origin.” He explained that the previous method of circumventing Indian import control measures by setting up branches in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia by Chinese companies will no longer work.

At present, India is still adopting a tough policy towards China in many areas. After the fifth round of the China-India military commander-level talks, the Indian media have speculated that “the talks have made no progress”, believing that the two sides will fall into a long-term confrontation, and the two countries will face the risk of suspension of cooperation in the economic and cultural fields. According to the “Times of India” report on the 6th, the “China Study Group” led by Indian National Security Adviser Doval decided after deliberating on the contents of the fifth round of commander-level talks, “No de-escalation measures will be considered until the Chinese Army completely withdraws from the intruded territory”. According to the report, both sides are preparing for the upcoming winter standoff, and India has begun carrying out large-scale logistics support operations.

The “Indian Express” stated that the “China Study Group” believes that China’s proposal for the so-called “equal disengagement” in the Pangong Tso area is “unacceptable” for India. The next steps will be discussed after receiving a formal response from the Chinese side.  Some security agency officials said that in the future, India and China may hold a new round of Special Representative talks on border issues, with a view to opening up the situation through diplomacy. In addition, the “China Study Group” is considering a series of “punitive” measures against China to limit the influence of China’s soft power in India. Restricting visas and minimizing youth cultural exchanges are among the actions to be taken.

.China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular press conference recently about China-India relations that the two sides should always put the border issue in the appropriate place in bilateral relations to avoid differences rising into disputes. It is hoped that the Indian side and the Chinese side will move in the same direction and take practical actions to jointly safeguard the overall situation of bilateral relations.

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