Amid simmering anti-China sentiment across the country following the deadly clash on the Sino-Indian border on June 15, India's government has banned 59 Chinese smartphone apps on the grounds that they pose threats to India's sovereignty and security. The ban raises important questions relating to the ambitions of Chinese Internet companies as well as the broader economic relationship between China and India.
The stated rationale for the ban may be legitimate - China has itself banned several foreign apps, and indeed entire companies, such as Facebook and Google, at home for similar reasons. However, India's approach of targeting Chinese Internet companies at an aggregate level rather than on a case-by-case basis seems curious. Some of the banned apps - such as those that improve the quality of selfies, provide music streaming or extend phone battery life - would appear to have few discernible security risks.