India banning another set of 118 Chinese apps is a ‘reckless intention to further decouple with China economically,’ state-owned publication and political mouthpiece Global Times writes in an editorial.
On 2nd September, India’s federal government banned another set of 118 Chinese apps, this time including the highly popular royale battle game PUBG which was under India’s radar for a possible ban after the Galwan valley faceoff.
The move to ban the highly popular app is a ‘double-edged sword’ which will tear through both China and India, while ‘offering a perfect opportunity for the US to take over the market,’ the editorial says.
Back in July, India in an unexpected announcement declared that it has banned 59 apps in June, and 49 apps prior to that in July. The recent app ban altogether makes 224 Chinese apps banned in India over the security issues.
India’s ministry of Information technology cited the ban by saying the apps were “prejudicial to sovereignty” and is also irrational for the nation’s state of public order.
“Blocking Chinese apps has been one of its major moves that have drawn huge attention,” the editorial writes. “Actual reasons lurking behind the highly symbolic move are New Delhi’s intention to antagonize China and cause losses to Chinese investors. It is true that related Chinese firms will bare huge losses, however, the ban is a double-edged sword for India.”
Of all the 259 apps that are banned in India, few of them are notable for their popularity and user-base in India. For instance, the recently banned PUBG, by Tencent has one-fourth of its global market share in India with 33 million active players.
TikTok, another massively popular Chinese app also had a significant market share in India with 611 million times in India, per analysis platform Sensor Tower data.
According to China, all the famous apps in the Indian markets that were enjoying massive popularity were the fruit of ‘years of investment’ by Chinese companies in the Indian app market.
Chinese behemoths like Alibaba Group, Tencent, Steadview Capital dominate the Indian investment scene. These companies, over the years, have invested hugely in India’s startup sector most of which is e-commerce based including Bigbasket, Zomato, Delhivery, Byju’s, Flipkart, Make my trip, Paytm, Policy Bazaar, Swiggy, among others, with an aggregated $3,500 million.
“Although India has a relatively high potential in software development and other fields, its IT industries lack sufficient capital support to grow independently since start-up IT firms normally need massive capital facilitation,” Global Times writes, also noting Chinese investors have an added advantage in India over American counterpart.