Banning Chinese Apps:
The Ministry of Home Affairs has recommended a ban on 54 Chinese mobile applications, including the popular game Garena Free Fire over concerns related to privacy and national security.
- In 2020, the government also banned TikTok and other popular short video apps from China.
- The decision to ban such apps in India is not only a geopolitical move but also a strategic trade manoeuvre that can have significant economic impact.
- Earlier, it was found that India’s trade with China in 2021 crossed USD125 billion with imports from China nearing a record USD100 billion, underlining continued demand for a range of Chinese goods, particularly machinery.
- Banning these Chinese websites and applications to the Indian public effectively allows our home-grown IT talent to focus on the newly arrived Internet user.
- Big tech firms from Silicon Valley (US) and China in both hardware and software have been in a tussle over the Indian consumer, but India’s focus remains on exporting IT services while paying little attention to servicing our own nation’s tech market.
- Banning these apps also sends a clear message from India that it will no longer be a victim of China’s Nibble and Negotiate policy and will review the norms of engagement.
- The ban may affect one of China’s most ambitious goals, namely to become the digital superpower of the 21st century.
- In its attempt to dominate the rest of the world, the Chinese Internet industry needs India’s 500-plus million netizens to continue to act as a training ground for the Artificial Intelligence algorithms they put together.
- India’s app ban, and consideration of related restrictions on telecom hardware and mobile handsets, is based on the recognition that data streams and digital technology are a new currency of global power.