India has banned another 43 smartphone apps, including Alibaba Group’s e-commerce app Aliexpress, in a new wave of web sanctions targeted at China after the acquaintances’ months-long standoff on their rugged Himalayan border.
The 43 mostly Chinese-origin applications, which also include a few dating apps, threaten the “sovereignty and integrity of India”, the technology ministry said in a statement.
India has previously banned more than 170 apps, saying they collect and share users’ information and may pose a threat to the state.
The motions, which India’s technology minister has known as a “digital strike”, were initiated following 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a skirmish with Chinese troops at a contested Himalayan border site in June.
The Chinese embassy in India said on Wednesday that it “resolutely” than the ban. Alibaba did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Aliexpress is not a major player in India’s fledgling e-commerce marketplace, which is led by Walmart Inc’s Flipkart and Amazon.com Inc’s local unit. It is, however, popular with some motorcycle enthusiasts and tiny shopkeepers, who use it to source cheap goods.
Its subsidiary UC Web laid off employees in India earlier this year following New Delhi first banned 59 Chinese-origin mobile apps that included UC Web’s browser and two other goods.
The Chinese tech giant was also forced to put on hold its plans to invest in Indian businesses after the boundary tensions between both nuclear-armed nations, Reuters previously reported.
India’s ton of app bans has also jolted the ambitions of Chinese technology titans such as Bytedance and Tencent in the South Asian nation, which is trying to reduce Beijing’s influence on its own burgeoning internet economy.
The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal. Additional reporting by Josh Horwitz in Shanghai. Editing by Jason Neely and Stephen Coates.
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