The government has decided to ban more Chinese origin apps, days after a similar action was taken against 59 Chinese apps for being 'prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and security of the country'. The apps that have been banned are Helo Lite, ShareIt Lite, Bigo Lite and VFY Lite.
These are lighter versions of the already banned apps. These apps have already been taken down by Google Play Store and Apple's App Store. These lighter versions of the banned apps were reportedly found to be operating despite the ban by the government but now they have been removed from the application stores, Hindustan Times quoted a government official as saying.
The government has warned all 59 banned Chinese apps that serious action would be taken if they did not comply with its order. Last month, the Centre banned 59 apps with Chinese links, including TikTok, Shein, UC Browser, and BeautyPlus, saying they were prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity, and security of the country.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on Tuesday night wrote a letter to all these Chinese firms, warning that continued availability and operation of these banned apps, directly or indirectly, was an offence under the Information Technology Act and other applicable Acts.
If any app is found to be made available by the company through any means for use within India, directly or indirectly, it would be construed as a violation of the government orders and would attract penal action, the IT Ministry added.
The IT Ministry's June 29 statement banning these 59 mobile apps had cited numerous complaints about their misuse for "stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India".
The IT ministry had invoked its power under section 69A of the IT Act and rules to block the 59 apps. The list of apps that have been banned also includes Helo, Likee, CamScanner, Vigo Video, Mi Video Call Xiaomi, Clash of Kings as well as e-commerce platforms Club Factory, WeChat and Bigo Live.