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Former Ally of India’s Governing Bharatiya Janata Party Questions Move to Ban Chinese Mobile Apps

New Delhi (Sputnik): India has banned 59 mobile applications of Chinese origin that were considered to be “prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India”. The move came almost a fortnight after the Indian and Chinese armies were involved in a violent faceoff in eastern Ladakh, in which 20 Indian soldiers, including an officer, were killed.

Shiv Sena, a regional Hindu nationalist party in India’s Maharashtra state, has mocked the federal government for its decision to ban 59 Chinese-origin mobile applications. Shiv Sena, which is currently in power in Maharashtra, was a close ally of the federally governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for close to 25 years, until they parted ways over a power-sharing formula in November 2019.

“If there was a threat to national security, then why were these apps allowed to function and their businesses thrive for all these years?” asked Shiv Sena in the party’s mouthpiece "Saamana".

New Delhi termed the decision to ban the Chinese-origin mobile applications as “digital revenge” for the violent hand-to-hand combat between the armies of the two Asian giants.

The editorial said that despite New Delhi’s posturing, there was no change in the realities on the ground. “The Chinese troops are still in Galwan Valley and have refused to withdraw from there”.

After the violent standoff, India resorted to several decisions that could dent Chinese businesses and investments in the country, like cancelling contracts, shutting out investments by Chinese companies, and banning the procurement of Chinese products by government departments and agencies.

China's Commerce Ministry has called on New Delhi to correct its discriminatory actions against Chinese companies.

According to ministry spokesman Gao Feng, China has not adopted any restrictive or discriminatory measures against Indian products and services, adding that India's actions violate WTO rules.

The 15 June standoff was the latest clash between India and China over Beijing’s claim to the Galwan Valley in the eastern Ladakh region.

Both the countries share a border from Arunachal Pradesh in the northeast to Sikkim in the centre and Ladakh, a northern federally-administered territory. This is mainly a land border, but in Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh it passes through a lake. India controls the western portion of the 45km long lake, while the rest is under Chinese control.

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