Modi deletes Weibo account as country bans 59 Chinese apps

Patna: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs a review meeting through video conferencing on various development projects which are undertaken in Varanasi; in New Delhi on June 19, 2020. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday deleted his account on Chinese social media app Weibo that had nearly 2.44 lakh followers, after the country banned 59 Chinese apps over national security concerns.

Reliable government sources told IANS that Modi decided to quit Weibo the moment the country announced the ban on 59 Chinese apps.

For VIP accounts, Weibo has a more complex procedure to quit which is why the official process was initiated, according to sources who added that for reasons best known to the Chinese, there was great delay in granting this basic permission.

“After the government’s move of banning 59 Chinese apps, PM Modi exits from Chinese social media platform Weibo also… Strong message at the border, on the economic front & at personal level too,” tweeted B.L. Santosh, BJP’s General Secretary, Organisation).

All posts, images and comments on the Prime Mnister’s Weibo account have been deleted, including two posts where he had photos with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Last month, known for government control and censorship, Chinese social media platforms removed Narendra Modi’s speech and India’s official statements on the border row. Modi’s June 18 remarks about the country’s border situation became inaccessible to users on social media app WeChat.

The Prime Minister’s remarks came in the aftermath of the bloody faceoff in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives on June 15. The Chinese side has not yet revealed the number of casualties on its side.

MEA spokesman Anurag Srivastava’s statement on the border row was also removed from the official WeChat account.

A message on WeChat said: “Unable to view this content because it violates regulations.”

Ahead of his visit to China in 2015, Modi opened an account on Weibo, which is considered the Chinese equivalent of microblogging platform Twitter.

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