NEW DELHI: India blocks another 43 Chinese apps, including some of the main shopping services of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, and has expanded its smartphone blacklist to more than 200 apps.
A number of apps run by the e-commerce giant, including Aliexpress, one of its largest malls for overseas shoppers, and Taobao Live, a fast-growing video-based marketplace, were included in the recent action.
More than a dozen dating and gaming sites were also blocked by India. They are entering some of China’s best-known WeChat apps from Tencent Holdings Ltd to TikTok from ByteDance Ltd.
The government has said that the bans are in the national security interest.
But the increasingly growing blacklist also highlights a wider Indian initiative to minimise reliance on the goods of its neighbours. It also further hampers China’s largest corporations’ attempts to expand beyond their own borders.
Since 20 Indian soldiers and an undisclosed number of Chinese troops were killed in clashes along the Himalayan frontier earlier this year. The tensions between the two giant Asian economies have been escalating.
Indian technology industry leaders are urging the country to go much further to defend local businesses’ interests against international rivals, or risk ceding to Chinese and American giants the world’s fastest-growing internet arena.
Most Chinese tech companies have yet to earn substantial revenue from India, but government moves are threatening to cut their access to one of the fastest-growing internet economies in the world.
India has also blocked apps run by Xiaomi Corp, the country’s No. 1 brand, which relies on its Mi library of services to fuel smartphone demand.
According to industry portal Statcounter, the government had already halted Alibaba’s UC Browser in June. It was the second-largest in the country with a 10.2 percent market share.
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