Indian PM quits Chinese social media account, deletes photos with Xi

Narendra Modi removes all Weibo posts following India’s ban on Chinese mobile apps

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following the Indian government's decision to ban 59 Chinese mobile apps on Monday (June 29), the country's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also decided to quit his personal account on the Chinese Twitter-like website Weibo.

Citing security concerns, the Indian government announced Monday that 59 Chinese apps would be banned in the country over concerns they could endanger its sovereignty. The apps include TikTok, WeChat, UC Browser, and Cam Scanner.

According to New Talk, Modi's Weibo account was completely blank on Wednesday (July 1), with all 113 of the past five years' posts having been manually removed, including several photos of him and Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping (習近平). Shortly after 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the account could no longer be accessed.

Modi first set up his Weibo account in 2015 with an eye on Sino-Indian relations and accumulated more than 244,000 followers — many of them Chinese. His first message on the popular blogging website was a greeting to the Chinese people in which he expressed his excitement about interacting with them.

Weibo confirmed Modi's desire to exit the website and said it had received an official request from the Indian representative office in China. It said the process had been initiated but that it would take a few more days to complete the complex procedure since the Indian leader had a verified account, reported Liberty Times.

Experts believe that India's digital strike against Chinese products is a response to the flaring border tensions between the two countries. On June 16, troops from both sides engaged in a fierce melee, resulting in 43 casualties for the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and 20 deaths on the Indian side, according to UDN.

Modi greets Chinese netizens in first post on Weibo. (Weibo screengrab)