The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said the country was strongly concerned about the situation after India banned 59 apps with Chinese links, reported PTI. “China is strongly concerned, verifying the situation,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian.

He added that India has the responsibility to uphold the “legitimate and legal rights” of international investors. “I want to stress that the Chinese government always asks the Chinese businesses to abide by international rules, local laws and regulations in their business cooperation with foreign countries, Zhao said. The spokesperson said cooperation between the two countries will be mutually beneficial.

Zhao’s comments come nearly a day after India’s central government blocked the apps that “are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”. Some of the apps that have been blocked are TikTok, WeChat, UC Browser, Weibo, Cam Scanner and Xaomi’s Mi Video Call.

The order by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology came two weeks after 20 Indian soldiers were killed and 76 wounded in a violent clash with their Chinese counterparts in Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control. The ministry said that it has received complaints from various sources about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms, which steal and transfer users’ data in an unauthorised manner to locations outside India. The ministry added that this situation requires “emergency measures”.

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Following the Ladakh clashes, there had been outrage in India, and calls for banning Chinese products. There were protests around the country, with some people destroying and burning Chinese-made goods. Some politicians, such as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, also called for a prohibition on Chinese goods.