Centre To Ban 47 More Chinese Apps In India; PUBG On Ban List?
The Information and Technology Ministry on Friday banned 47 Chinese apps, which are clones or variants of Chinese-linked 59 apps earlier banned in June.
A month since the last ban, sources in the Ministry have said that “the problem is with the operational ethics of certain apps. This is an ongoing process. If apps qualify under the same grounds of operational ethics, then they will also come under the scanner.” The source said, “operational ethics” refers to data going back to the Chinese government.
Some Reports also said 275 other Chinese apps could also be on the chopping block over similar concerns, including the hugely popular “PUBG Mobile”. Here’s everything.
Citing the “emergent nature of threats” from mobile applications, including popular ones of Chinese origin such as TikTok, ShareIt, UCBrowser, Club Factory, and CamScanner, the Centre had banned 59 apps on June 29 based on information that they were engaged in activities “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity”, defense, security and public order.
Among the apps banned under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act are some of the most downloaded in the country, with Indians making up the largest chunk of many user bases.
The move was seen as a retaliatory step amid the tense border standoff between India and China that led to 20 Indian Army personnel being killed on June 15. State-owned telecom companies also moved to keep Chinese vendors out of their network up-gradation tenders.
“The Ministry of Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources, including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India,” the government had said in a statement on June 29.
India on Monday banned 47 more apps with links to China, most being clones or from the same parent company whose main applications were banned last month, a source said.
The banned clones include TikTok Lite, Helo Lite, Shareit Lite, and Bigo Live Lite, among others. A complete list of the banned applications has not been released yet.
After the fresh ban on 47 apps, the total number of mobile applications banned for being prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity, and defense of the country rises to 106.
The 47 apps that have been banned now are mostly clones and variants of the applications which were blocked earlier, the source privy to the development said.
India has drawn up a list of 275 Chinese apps that it will examine for any violation of national security and user privacy, signaling heightened scrutiny and the possibility of more Chinese internet companies being banned in the country, according to people aware of the developments.
This follows the high-profile ban of 59 Chinese apps last month, including short video app TikTok, amid simmering geopolitical tensions between the two Asian giants.
The list, includes gaming app PUBG backed by China’s most valuable internet major Tencent, Zili by phone maker Xiaomi, AliExpress by e-commerce giant Alibaba as well as apps like Resso and ULike from TikTok-owner ByteDance.
Tensions between the two countries soared last month after a border clash in Ladakh that left 20 Indian troops dead and an unknown number of Chinese casualties.
A complete list of the banned applications has not been released yet, PUBG Mobile has high chances of being one of the 47 apps.