Beijing criticises New Delhi for ‘suppressing’ Chinese firms

Beijing has expressed concern over India’s decision to ban 54 apps over security reasons and Indian tax authorities conducting raids at multiple premises of Huawei.
Customers and workers are seen at a Huawei store at Sandton City mall in Sandton, South Africa. Beijing has expressed concern over India’s decision to ban 54 apps over security reasons and Indian tax authorities conducting raids at multiple premises of Huawei. (REUTERS)
Customers and workers are seen at a Huawei store at Sandton City mall in Sandton, South Africa. Beijing has expressed concern over India’s decision to ban 54 apps over security reasons and Indian tax authorities conducting raids at multiple premises of Huawei. (REUTERS)
Published on Feb 17, 2022 04:59 PM IST
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BySutirtho Patranobis I Beijing

China on Thursday expressed concern over India’s decision to ban 54 of Chinese apps over security reasons and Indian tax authorities conducting raids at multiple premises of a leading telecom company, calling it an effort to “suppress” Chinese companies.

The Chinese commerce ministry said India should improve its business environment and treat all foreign investors, including Chinese companies, in a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory manner. The reaction from Beijing came in the backdrop of India banning 54 Chinese apps in a new order citing security concerns.

It is the latest instance of tensions between the two neighbours locked in an ongoing border dispute since May 2020.

India’s electronics and IT ministry banned apps including those belonging to big Chinese tech firms such as Tencent, Alibaba and NetEase, re-branded versions of apps already banned by India in 2020.

The Chinese commerce ministry was also reacting to India’s income-tax department conducting searches at multiple premises of Chinese telecom company Huawei as part of a tax evasion investigation.

The raids were launched at the company’s premises in Delhi, Gurugram and Bengaluru on Tuesday, reports said.

Chinese commerce ministry spokesperson Gao Feng said relevant Indian authorities had taken a “…series of measures to suppress Chinese companies and their products in India, which have seriously damaged the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies”.

“China expressed serious concern about this,” Gao said on Thursday, adding the ministry has noticed that foreign investors, including Chinese companies, are also increasingly concerned about the investment environment in India.

Foreign investors have created a large number of employment opportunities in India and made positive contributions to India’s economic development, Gao said.

The spokesperson added that China and India are “inseparable neighbours” and important economic and trade partners for each other.

In 2021, the bilateral trade volume between China and India reached $125.7 billion, a year-on-year increase of 43%, Gao said. “The economic and trade cooperation between the two countries has strong resilience and great potential. It is hoped that the Indian side can take concrete measures to maintain the sound development momentum of bilateral economic and trade cooperation and to benefit the two countries,” Gao said.

Meanwhile, the Chinese tech giant Huawei will fully cooperate as per Indian rules and regulations as it is confident the firm’s operations in India are compliant with all laws and regulations of the country, the company told the Global Times on Thursday.

Huawei, according to the Global Times report, said that it has been informed of the reported visit of the Indian income tax team and meeting with some personnel, noting that it will approach related government departments for more information and follow the right procedure with the tax authorities.

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