Jul 6, 2020 - Technology

The tech battle between India and China heats up

Muslim activists hold placards and shout slogans against China during a protest in Mumbai
Muslim activists hold placards and shout slogans against China during a protest in Mumbai, India, last month. Photo: Himanshu Bhatt/NurPhoto via Getty Images

China's tech rivalry with the U.S. has taken the spotlight lately, but it is also in another major dispute with India — one that has significant implications for the tech landscape in both countries.

Why it matters: China and India are the first and second most populous nations on the planet and constitute two of the most important emerging markets for buying tech products. Both countries also want to become more significant tech producers as well.

  • As with the U.S.-China dispute, India and China's economies are also interdependent in many ways.

Driving the news:

  • India last week banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, citing both privacy and national security concerns.
  • Indian food delivery app Zomato has been unable to access promised funding from China's Ant Financial due to tensions between the countries, per the Financial Times, highlighting the challenges for companies with business interests in both countries.

Between the lines: Unlike the U.S. dispute, which is focused largely on trade, China's conflict with India appears to be tied to border confrontations between the two countries over a disputed Himalayan site. A recent clash there left 20 Indian soldiers dead.

The bottom line: In the short term, India's Chinese app bans have meant an increase in demand for homegrown apps, including some local TikTok rivals.

  • One of those video sharing sites, Roposo, said it added 22 million users in two days amid the dispute, per Reuters.

Go deeper: Indian government bans 59 Chinese-owned apps, including TikTok

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