China expressed concern on Thursday about India's decision to ban 54 Chinese apps for security reasons, as well as Indian tax authorities raiding multiple locations of a leading telecom company, calling it an effort to "suppress" Chinese companies. According to the Chinese commerce ministry, India should improve its business environment and treat all foreign investors, including Chinese firms, fairly, transparently, and non-discriminatorily. Beijing's reaction came in the wake of India banning 54 Chinese apps in a new order citing security concerns.
It is the most recent manifestation of tensions between the two neighbours, who have been embroiled in a border dispute since May 2020. The electronics and information technology ministry of India has banned apps belonging to major Chinese tech firms such as Tencent, Alibaba, and NetEase, as well as rebranded versions of apps already banned by India in 2020.
The Chinese commerce ministry was also reacting to India's income-tax department conducting searches at multiple Huawei locations as part of a tax evasion investigation.
According to Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesperson Gao Feng, relevant Indian authorities have taken a "...series of measures to suppress Chinese companies and their products in India, which have seriously harmed Chinese companies' legitimate rights and interests."
"China expressed serious concern about this," Gao said on Thursday, adding that the ministry has noticed that foreign investors, including Chinese firms, are becoming increasingly concerned about India's investment environment. According to Gao, foreign investors have created a large number of job opportunities in India and have contributed positively to the country's economic development. According to the spokesperson, China and India are "inseparable neighbours" and important economic and trade partners for one another.