India denies China printing currency claim amid social media row

Indian rupee notes Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption The rupee is printed across four high-security presses in India

The Indian government has denied a report that a Chinese company would be printing its currency notes, calling it “baseless” amid social media outrage.

The report by the South China Morning Post claimed a Chinese company had been contracted to print international currencies, including the Indian rupee.

The news spread quickly on social media, prompting outrage over how this could endanger national security.

India prints all its currency in four high-security presses.

“Reports about any Chinese currency printing corporation getting any orders for printing Indian currency notes are totally baseless. Indian currency notes are being and will be printed only in Indian government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) currency presses,” an official from the Department of Economic Affairs told news agency ANI.

The Chinese report quickly gained traction on social media, briefly causing the hashtag #ChinaPrintingRupee to trend worldwide.

Many angry users demanded an explanation from the government and questioned the wisdom of the decision given recent tensions between the two countries.

India and China were involved in a weeks long stand-off along part of their 3,500km (2,174-mile) shared border last June.

Indian MP Shashi Tharoor was among those who demanded a comment from the Indian government.

Other politicians, including the spokesman of the Delhi state government, said the move would endanger India’s “financial sovereignty”.

The company mentioned in the report is the China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation. It describes itself as the world’s largest money printer.

The South China Morning posted quoted a company official as saying that it had “successfully won contracts for currency production projects in a number of countries including Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, India, Brazil and Poland.”

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