oppn parties The Ban On Chinese Apps Is Not An End In Itself

News Snippets

  • In a first, the Supreme Court recognizes marital rape, although for the limited purpose of allowing married women the right of abortion up to 24 weeks if they conceived as a result of forced sex by their husbands
  • Air India cuts discounts on base fare to students and senior citizens from 50% to 25%
  • Mallikarjun Kharge and Digvijay Singh are being touted as frontrunners to take on Shashi Tharoor in the elections for the post of Congress president
  • Sonia Gandhi will decide who will be Rajasthan CM if she feels there is a need to change guard after the near-rebellion by MLAs in the state
  • Ashok Gehlot bowed out of the race for being Congress president after meeting Sonia Gandhi
  • India has moved to the 40th spot in the innovation index, up 6 spots from last year
  • DGGI has alleged that top insurance companies, banks and NBFCs has committed a fraud of Rs 800cr by claiming input tax credit without underlying supplies
  • The Centre will borrow Rs 10000cr less than planned earlier due to good revenue collections
  • At $23.9bn, India's current account deficit widened to 2.8% in Q1, the worst in four years
  • Stocks continue to flounder on Thursday: Sensex sheds 188 points to 56409 and Nifty 40 points to 16818
  • The 36th National Games were declared open on Thusrday by PM Modi in front of a record crowd in Motera near Ahmedabad
  • Jasprit Bumrah most likely to miss T20 World Cup due to recurrence of back injury
  • PFI's political wing, the SDPI is on EC radar and action will follow soon if discrepancies are detected
  • Ashok Gehlot to meet Sonia Gandhi today, says all issues will be sorted out soon
  • Referring to the PFI ban, most Muslim organizations ask the government to take similar action against right wings organizations like the RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP and the like
In a landmark order, Supreme Court rules that all women, married or unmarried, are entitled to safe and legal abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy as per the MTP Act
oppn parties
The Ban On Chinese Apps Is Not An End In Itself

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2020-07-01 16:43:02

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

On the face of it, the ban on Chinese apps would seem to be of little consequence when every second person holds a Chinese mobile phone in his or her hand. Even if it is not a Chinese brand, the mobile phone is almost certain to have been made in China. Even if the manufacturer says that the instrument is assembled in India, it is almost sure to have been assembled with an SKD (semi-knocked down) kit imported from China. Chinese mobile handsets are also a threat (similar to the ones for which the apps have been banned) as most of them have pre-loaded Chinese apps.

But on the other hand, the app ban does two things that send a very strong message to China. First, it signals that India is willing and prepared to impose economic costs on China for its aggressiveness at the LAC. Second, it involves a huge number of citizens as most of these apps, especially TikTok, were being used extensively in India and it will make the users turn to Indian alternatives (like Chingari or Mitron in place of TikTok). If the people approve of the government banning Chinese apps as a response to the border dispute, the aversion to buy or use Chinese products will grow, setting off a chain reaction and lower sales for Chinese companies.

Also, other government departments and even private companies are showing a tendency to avoid Chinese companies and suppliers if there are alternatives. It has been reported that the telecom department is not buying Chinese equipment and India is seriously thinking about not allowing Huawei to bid for 5G. The app ban sends the signal that India is not going to shy away from not using the products of Chinese companies even if the alternatives are costlier.

When Hu Xijin, the Editor-in-Chief of the state-run Global Times in China made a derisive comment about Indian products by tweeting that  "Well, even if Chinese people want to boycott Indian products, they can't really find many Indian goods. Indian friends, you need to have some things that are more important than nationalism," industrialist Anand Mahindra was quick to take him on. Mahindra tweeted that "I suspect this comment might well be the most effective & motivating rallying cry that India Inc. has ever received. Thank you for the provocation. We will rise to the occasion." If India Inc. can actually support the government by decoupling with Chinese suppliers wherever feasible, it will impose a huge economic cost on China and maybe force it to abandon its aggressive ways.