WION Edit: How can India prevent China's app invasion?

Delhiwala, Punjab, PakistanUpdated: Nov 21, 2019, 02:07 PM IST
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From UC Browser to the Kings of Chinese internet industries, all are doing a core business in India Photograph:(Others)

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Indian internet space cannot be a battleground for China and the US. It's time to make our own Apps and prevent the preventable.

China's strategy is clear. It enters every country, every market, every sector where it can get even a toehold.

But it doesn't allow entry to others. China keeps itself insulated, pulls 'an iron curtain' on technology. 

On WION Edit, we'll discuss this skewed free market formula that china uses and how it impacts India. China, under MAO, had a closed market, but now America is becoming protectionist.

And communist China is trying to sell itself as the torchbearer of globalisation. This is just propaganda, the reality is very different.

China's free market formula is simple, it wants free access to other markets, but blocks access to its own market. 

Look at the offerings:
Cab Aggregators
Search Engines
Social Media
Health & Education Platforms
Even Online Retailers and Payments platforms - the long arm of China extends everywhere and India is a major target. How can India beat this model?

Forget about gaining soft power, at least to protect self-interests, India must find a way.

Why are Chinese payment Apps promoted and used when India has its own UPI Bhim App? Why have we allowed Chinese Apps in the education sector in India?

Why are cheap Chinese smartphones ruling the Indian markets? Why can't India produce its own smartphones? It's bewildering because India has skilled labour and raw material.

But here's what's happening. Ignorant consumerism is exposing Indian markets to Chinese Apps.

This is not anti-China rhetoric. Let me ask this question, would China allow digital products like smartphones and apps of foreign origin at home?

The answer is no. 

China's leverage is growing like a juggernaut in India. And the primary reason is the lack of entrepreneurship and investment in building domestic products. 

The government must make it easy for young entrepreneurs of India to innovate and evolve domestic tech products. This will serve three purposes - Young Indians will find employment, the economy will get a boost, and India will be able to weather the Chinese tech storm. 

Indian internet space cannot be a battleground for China and the US. It's time to make our own Apps and prevent the preventable.

The other way to protect self-interest is to go for data localisation. This was flagged by none other than the Reserve Bank of India last year.

Data breaches are a big worry, they can be prevented but for that, payments Apps must store data locally.

There is an important Bill before Parliament too - the Personal Data Bill. This Bill seeks to punish apps that violate privacy.

In a nutshell, empower Indian innovators, crackdown on privacy violation, punish the firms that flout rules and ensure that Indian data is stored in India. 

(Disclaimer: WION Edit is the channel's take on the big events of the world)