Nitin A Gokhale (left), Twitter screenshot (right)

Twitter India marks Leh as part of People's Republic of China

A day after netizens revealed that default weather apps in Chinese mobile phones are deliberately omitting weather reports of Indian territories, which China claims as ‘disputed’, microblogging website Twitter has stirred a new controversy on Sunday.

During a live session on Twitter, national security analyst Nitin A Gokhale found that Twitter has labelled the Indian territory of Leh in Ladakh as part of People’s Republic of China (PRC). Gokhale, the founder of Strat News Global, had marked his location as ‘Hall of Fame Leh’. However, the microblogging platform displayed the area as a part of PRC. The screengrab of the video read, “Nitin A Gokhale was live. Jammu and Kashmir, People’s Republic of China.”

Twitter Labels Leh As Part of China

While slamming Twitter for its outrageous action, the national security analyst demanded immediate action from the Government of India against the microblogging platform. He wrote, “Tweeple please put Hall of Fame Leh as your location for live broadcast and see what’s happening.” Gokhale emphasised, “It shows the location as Jammu and Kashmir, Peoples Republic of China. I tested it again. Outrageous.” He urged netizens to flood Twitter with complaints so as to mount pressure on the micro-blogging platform to correct the error.

Later when he entered Leh’s Kushak Bakula Airport as his location, the result was same. This time also the location was determined by Twitter as China.

Technical Glitch Or Deliberate Oversight?

On the request of Nitin A Gokhale, another Twitter user (@rohitpandita000) went live with ‘Hall of fame Leh’ as the location. The objective was to ascertain whether it was a one-time technical glitch or a recurrent issue. To everyone’s surprise, the microblogging platform again marked Leh as part of the People’s Republic of China. The National Security analyst then tweeted, “There you are. Someone else also tried it. Same result.”

Chinese Phone Weather App Controversy

In a shocking revelation, it was found that the default weather apps of Chinese phones in India do not show reports for cities that China considers as ‘disputed. When OpIndia tried to make search queries, it found that the default weather app on Xiaomi phones did not provide results for Itanagar. Not just Itanagar, Xiaomi default weather app also provided no results for other districts in the State such as Pasighat and Longding. However, the weather reports of both Itanagar and Pasighat can be accessed by downloading third-party weather apps from the play store. Therefore, it is not that the weather data for locations in Arunachal are not available, rather, the locations are deliberately blocked by the company in the default weather app pre-installed on the phones. Same behaviour was reported by netizens in other Chinese phones also.