INDIA BANS 59 CHINESE APPS, INCLUDING TIKTOK, SHAREIT, UC BROWSER
The IT ministry has banned 59 Chinese-owned applications, including TikTok, ShareIt, UC Browser, Likee, WeChat, and Bigo Live. The Ministry stated they were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of india, security of state and public order.”
The move came in the backdrop of a current stand-off along the Line of Actual control in Ladakh with Chinese troops. Criticism and backlash from Indian authorities against Chinese applications have been ongoing. This marks the largest sweep against the Chinese technology companies.
The Ministry used Section 69A of the Information Technology Act.
“There have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians. It has been noted recently that such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of our country. The Ministry of Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about 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 compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures.”
The Indian Cyber Crime Coordinate Centre under the Ministry of Home Affairs sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these “malicious apps,” the IT ministry. “This Ministry has also received many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding security of data and risk to privacy relating to operation of certain apps.”
In addition, the CERT-IN also has received representations from citizens regarding security of data. Parliamentarians have also flagged the issue, the release said.
Over 2015-19, Chinese investors including Alibaba, Tencent, TR Capital and Hillhouse Capital, have invested over $5.5 billion in Indian start-ups, according to Venture Intelligence that tracks private equity, venture capital, M&A transactions and valuations, in India.