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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘Symbolically’ Quits Chinese App Weibo Amid Tensions

© AFP 2022 / LIONEL BONAVENTUREThe chinese app Weibo's logo is displayed on a tablet in Paris. (File)
The chinese app Weibo's logo is displayed on a tablet in Paris. (File) - Sputnik International
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New Delhi (Sputnik): Following a more than month-long border standoff, India has banned 59 Chinese apps including TikTok and UC Browser from operating in the country, citing national security reasons.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday quit Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo.

Modi, who is a very active social media user, joined the site a few years ago and had more than 244,000 followers.

“As soon as the decision was taken to disallow 59 Chinese apps in India, Prime Minister Modi decided that he would be quitting Weibo. For VIP accounts, Weibo has a more complex procedure to quit which is why the official process was initiated. For reasons best known to the Chinese, there was great delay in granting this basic permission. Prime Minister Modi had 115 posts on Weibo,” government sources told Sputnik.

Out of the 115 posts on the Indian Prime Minister’s Weibo page, 113 were removed manually leaving two posts – that had pictures of him and Chinese President Xi Jinping. For some years, Prime Minister Modi wished President Jinping a happy birthday via Weibo on 15 June. This year however, the tradition was not continued. 

“It was difficult to remove posts by the Chinese platform that had photos of President Jinping but now all the posts are gone,” the government sources added.

The “symbolic” news is already making the rounds on social media. Netizens are appreciating the Prime Minister's strong message to China and his support for Indian citizens.

​On 30 June, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian reacted to India’s banning 59 Chinese apps, saying that China is “strongly concerned” by the decision.

According to Indian analysts, the decision to remove Chinese apps from India could lead to job losses and a minor revenue loss for India – but for China, it could cost its brands major revenue losses as well as a dent in the global reputation of these apps.

The banned Chinese applications include short video-making app TikTok, which had around 200 million Indian users, shopping app SheIn with five million users and data transfer app ShareIt with 100 million users in India.

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