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Vijay Shekhar Sharma of Paytm, which has big Chinese investments, says Chinese apps ban is ‘in national interest’

Paytm considers Alibaba and China's Ant Financial as its main investors.

Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma said on June 30 that the government ban on 59 Chinese apps was a bold move, which was in the national interest. Paytm, led by One97 Communications, regards Alibaba and China’s Ant Financial as major investors.

“Bold step in the national interest. A step towards Atmanirbhar (self-reliant) App ecosystem. Time for the best Indian entrepreneurs to come forward and build the best by Indians, for Indians,” he tweeted.

Alibaba and its affiliated entities own more than 25 percent in One97 Communications, including Paytm Mall, Paytm Money and its other units.

Sharma’s statement is also a far cry from previous years when he touted Alibaba and his relationship with co-founder Jack Ma as his greatest strengths. Paraphrasing a popular line of Hindi movies, he said in 2015: “Mere pass ma hai… Jack Ma”

However, big Chinese investors like Alibaba have billions worth of stakes in many startups and not just Paytm. Alibaba is an investor in BigBasket, e-commerce company Snapdeal, food delivery company Zomato, and logistics company Xpressbees.

Chinese investors are deeply embedded in the Indian startup ecosystem. Virtually all unicorns, from Swiggy to Byju to Ola, have considerable Chinese backing.

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