Retaliatory step signals intent, blocks China access to growing youth market

30 June 2020 10:49 AM
English
  • Retaliatory step signals intent, blocks China access to growing youth market

Banning 59 mobile apps that have Chinese overhang is both a statement of intent and a strong signal. This may not hurt India given the alternatives in the app space but for China, the Indian app market is growing and valuable.

In its exercise of coercive diplomacy with China amid the tense standoff in Ladakh, the government has, for now, picked up a low-denomination item – mobile apps, given their limited impact on Indian businesses but one that has a disproportionately large presence in the mass consumer segment.

Banning 59 mobile apps that have Chinese overhang is both a statement of intent and a strong signal. This may not hurt India given the alternatives in the app space but for China, the Indian app market is growing and valuable.

This is probably the first big action that hits Chinese business interests in India. Two months ago, in April, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, made it mandatory for foreign direct investment from neighbouring countries to take prior government approval.

This was also aimed at curbing opportunistic takeovers/ acquisitions of Indian companies during times of the Covid-19 pandemic, when valuations were at new lows.


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