Chinese apps banned

India bans 59 Chinese apps&nbsp | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspAP

Key Highlights

  • India’s unprecedented move following Galwan Valley clash
  • 59 mobile apps of Chinese origin banned by the Government of India
  • The list includes popular Chinese apps like TikTok, SHAREit, Mi Video Call – Xiaomi

New Delhi: Amid the heightened tensions with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Indian government on Monday took an unprecedented step and decided to ban at least 59 Chinese apps.

The list of 59 mobile apps with their origin in China include TikTok, SHAREit, UC Browser, Baidu map, Helo, Mi Community, Club Factory, WeChat, UC News, Weibo, Xender, Meitu, Mi Video Call – Xiaomi, CamScanner, and Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile.

The order issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) stated that the 59 apps that have been banned by the Government of India “are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”. The order added: “This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.”

Full list of Chinese apps banned by the Indian government:

Details of the Indian govt order on Chinese apps 

“Over the last few years, India has emerged as a leading innovator when it comes to technological advancements and a primary market in the digital space. At the same time, 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 Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps. 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. The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) has also received many representations from citizens regarding security of data and breach of privacy impacting upon public order issues. Likewise, there have been similar bipartisan concerns, flagged by various public representatives, both outside and inside the Parliament of India. There has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against Apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens.

“On the basis of these and upon receiving of recent credible inputs that such Apps pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of India, the Government of India has decided to disallow the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet-enabled devices. These apps are listed in the attached appendix.”

What led to the move

The development has come in the wake of a massive spike in tensions along the 3,488-kilometre-long de-facto border with China, following the Galwan Valley clash in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed in action.

An unspecified number of Chinese troops were also killed in the clash on the intervening night of June 15 and 16, which happened when Indian soldiers had gone to inspect whether the Chinese had withdrawn from the Galwan River bend in the valley which was on the Indian side of the LAC.

The Indian and Chinese troops have been engaged in eyeball-to-eyeball situation along the LAC at several locations for nearly two months now. The first violent clash had taken place between the troops of the two armies at Pangong Tso on May 5, in which nearly 100 troops were injured.

The Indian Army has deployed more troops and built up defences at Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso, Gogra-Hot Springs, Depsang and several other places in eastern Ladakh following adventurism by the Chinese military.

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