Indian government has announced a ban on 59 Chinese apps, including popular apps such as TikTok, Shareit, Helo amid growing border tensions with China. The list also includes other commonly used apps such as UC Browser, Xender, SHAREit and Clean-master. Shopping portals such as Shein and Club Factory and gaming apps such as Clash of Kings have also made it to the list.
In a notification issued on Monday, the Ministry of Information Technology said it has banned 59 mobile apps which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order. The government has disallowed the usage of these apps in both mobile and non-mobile internet enabled devices.
The government has taken this action to safeguard the public safety and to protect the sovereignty and integrity of India. "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," the release said.
The ministry said it 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 unauthorised 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," it said.
The release further stated that the ministry has 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," it said.
"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," it added.
This development has come in the wake of heightened tensions between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) after the Galwan Valley clash in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed in pre-meditated and planned attack by Chinese soldiers on June 15. This was the biggest military confrontation in over five decades which has significantly escalated the already volatile border standoff between the two countries.
Here's a list of Chinese apps that have been banned by the government:
Clash of Kings
DU battery saver
Mi Video Call Xiaomi
ES File Explorer
Viva Video QU Video Inc
New Video Status
Cache Cleaner DU App studio
Hago Play With New Friends
Clean Master Cheetah Mobile
QQ Security Center
V fly Status Video