INDIA BANS 47 CHINESE APPS; OVER 250 MORE UNDER SCANNER FOR USER PRIVACY VIOLATION
India has banned 47 apps of Chinese origin in the country, nearly a month after banning 59 Chinese applications. Sources have told India Today TV that the 47 banned Chinese apps were operating as clones of the earlier banned apps. The list of the 47 Chinese applications banned by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology will be released soon.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has banned 47 apps which were variants and cloned copies of the 59 Chinese apps that were banned in June. These 47 banned app clones include Tiktok Lite, Helo Lite, SHAREit Lite, BIGO LIVE Lite, and VFY Lite, news agency ANI reported.
India has also prepared a list of over 250 Chinese apps, including apps linked to Alibaba, that it will examine for any user privacy or national security violations, government sources told India Today TV. The list also includes Tencent-backed gaming app PUBG.
Some top gaming Chinese applications are also expected to be banned in the new list that is being drawn up, sources said. The Chinese applications, that are being reviewed, have allegedly been sharing data with the Chinese agencies.
Today's decision follows after a high-profile ban of 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, as border tensions continued in Ladakh after a violent, fatal face-off between the Indian and Chinese armies. The government said these apps were engaged in activities that were prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity and defence of India.
A government press release announcing the ban stated: "The Ministry of Information Technology, invoking it's power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 59 apps since in view of information available they are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".
A day later, Google said it has removed all the banned applications from the Play Store. Following the ban, TikTok refuted the claims that suggest it will pursue legal action against the Indian government for banning the app in India.
Reacting to the 59 apps banned by India, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the country is "strongly concerned regarding the decision of the Indian government".
“China is strongly concerned, verifying the situation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
"We want to stress that the Chinese government always asks Chinese businesses to abide by international and local laws-regulations. The Indian government has a responsibility to uphold the legal rights of international investors including Chinese ones," Zhao Lijian said.