The Indian government has banned Apple from selling its phones to the country.
The decision came after a US court ruled that the company is liable for billions of dollars in damages to customers who lost their iPhones in a botched fire in India.
The decision to ban Apple came after US Federal Judge Lucy Koh ruled in favor of Apple in a case brought by a customer of an Indian electronics retailer.
The judge also ordered the company to pay damages of $5,000 to customers of another Indian retailer.
Apple has appealed the decision, and said that it was “pleased that India’s ruling is a step towards allowing customers to continue to buy Apple products.”
But critics say that the decision is an attack on innovation, which the government claims has made India a technology hub.
“This decision is part of a larger effort to make India a country where only technology companies can thrive,” said Muthu Varshney, co-founder of Free Basics, an Internet access service for poor rural areas.
“India has been one of the world’s most successful countries in terms of tech development, innovation and entrepreneurship, and this decision will not help in that process.
It is clear that India has chosen to take a backseat to the US,” Varshay told AFP.
He said that India would continue to work towards building an India-style economy where everyone has access to broadband and the internet.
“The government should take note of the fact that the internet is the backbone of economic growth in India,” Veshney added.
Apple is currently appealing the decision in the US Supreme Court, which will hear arguments in the case on July 25.