News By/Courtesy: Ujjwal Shikhar | 27 Jun 2020 21:56pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Chinese apps with respect to national security.
  • Chinese apps and the economy.
  • Boycotting Chinese apps post Galwan Valley clash.

The border stand-off between India and China has sparked a campaign here that is gaining momentum to boycott Chinese products, including applications like video conferencing app Zoom, short-video app TikTok, UC Browser, file-sharing app SHAREit, and gaming app PUBG. This comes weeks after the app “Remove Chinese Apps” tried to tap into a similar sentiment amidst escalating tensions at the border. Besides the boycott campaign, Indian intelligence agencies have red-flagged over 50 China-linked apps as posing a threat to national security. There are concerns that these apps are not safe and might be extracting a large amount of data. Experts said the government can block apps that are perceived to pose a threat to national security. “If they (apps) are fomenting sectarian violence or creating panic by spreading wrong information or propaganda that can incite a rebellion in border states, the government is well within its rights to impose section 69A of the IT Act,” said Blaise Fernandes, director at foreign policy think tank Gateway House. According to industry insiders, India has 400 million smartphones and is the world’s fastest-growing app market. So the addition or deletion of apps impacts the global valuations of these platforms.

Divakar Vijayasarathy, founder and managing partner at DVS Advisors LLP, SAID, “Since China enjoys an abnormally high trade surplus of $60 billion, boycotting Chinese products would have the maximum impact if it fructifies,” said Vijayasarathy. However, other experts said it was important to understand that a total boycott is impractical. According to Salman Waris, managing partner at TechLegis Advocates & Solicitors, the boycott will have some impact on the number of users of these apps in India in the “short term”. “However it will be a bit ignorant to expect it will have any repercussions from a geopolitical perspective,” said Waris. “Companies and countries don’t play the short-term.” This is because China’s investments in India’s tech start-up space have been over the last five years. The country has been one of the largest recipients of Chinese investments. “China’s digital and mobile dominance runs deep into the Indian economy,” said Waris. Despite the geopolitical issues between India and China, there is a robust $87 billion in trade between the two countries.

THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT INTEND TO HURT THE SENTIMENTS OF ANY INDIVIDUAL, COMMUNITY, SECT, OR RELIGION ETCETERA. THIS ARTICLE IS BASED PURELY ON THE AUTHOR'S PERSONAL VIEWS AND OPINIONS IN THE EXERCISE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT GUARANTEED UNDER ARTICLE 19(1)(A) AND OTHER RELATED LAWS BEING FORCE IN INDIA, FOR THE TIME BEING.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 28 Jun 2020 10:18am IST


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