China criticised India's decision to ban Chinese apps and cited its own openness in accepting Tagore, Yoga and Indian movies. It also said that India’s action was sacrificing the rights and interests of the Indian users while damaging those of Chinese companies.
On September 2, India banned 118 more mobile apps with Chinese links, including the Tencent's popular game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), citing data privacy concerns and a threat to national security, taking the total count of Chinese-linked mobile apps banned by New Delhi to 224.
India's move came amid fresh border tensions with China in eastern Ladakh.
Following this, Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Hua Chunying said, "By banning these hi-tech, easy-to-use and popular apps, the Indian side is sacrificing first and foremost the rights and interests of the Indian users, and damaging those of Chinese companies. Therefore, no one gains from such an action."
She noted that both India and China are close neighbours and proud of their civilisations. “The start of our exchange and mutual learning can date back to 1,000 years ago. The great Indian poet Tagore is very popular in China,” said Chunying.
She said Tagore’s poems are popular in China, and then quoted a line from one of his poems: “We read the world wrong, and say that it deceives us”.
Yoga and Indian movies like "Dangal" are also very popular in China, she said. "However, it never crossed our mind that India is trying to infiltrate or pose any threat to our country," she said in an updated statement released by the Chinese foreign ministry.
She said the intermingling of different cultures is conducive to promoting people's mutual understanding and friendship.
"So, we hope that India will attach importance to the two peoples' friendship and long-term interests and work to promote bilateral exchange and cooperation in various fields," the spokesperson said.
She also noted that the US State Department on the same day cited New Delhi's ban and called on other countries to join India to join the Clean Network programme.
"I wonder if there's connection or coordination between India and the US on this issue," she claimed. "But India, as a country proudly possessing an ancient civilisation, is wise enough to have known about Dirtbox, PRISM, Irritant Horn, Muscular and Undersea Cable Tapping. It knows fully well whether the US is clean or dirty when it comes to US policies and practices.
(With inputs from PTI)