INDIA. Mumbai. Invoking its powers under section 69A of the Information Technology Act, the Government of India banned 118 Chinese apps, including PUBG and Chinese search engine Baidu, over security concerns on Wednesday.
In an official communication, the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology stated that the decision to block the apps was taken under the provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009.
The emergent nature of threats and information available that these apps are engaged in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, the security of the state and public order.
Misuse of mobile apps
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers that have locations outside India. The compilation of these data, it’s mining, and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defense of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India. It is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures, the communication stated.
The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Union Ministry of Home Affairs has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps. 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.
The government also said the move would safeguard the interests of millions of Indian mobile and internet users. “This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security, and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace,”.
Fresh tension between India and China
The latest development comes when fresh tensions have emerged between India and China after hundreds of soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) crossed into the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) south of Pangong Tso lake. The government had earlier banned 59 Chinese apps in June after a stand-off in Galwan Valley which resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers.
Chinese tech giant Tencent-backed PUBG is a popular gaming app with over 40 million active users in India. It is classified as one of the two unicorn mobile games in India by AppAnnie. The other Chinese origin apps that have been banned include Alipay, Ludo All-Star, Game of Sultans, Applock, CamOCR, and VPN for TikTok, We Chat reading, and Super Clean among others.
Nightmare for users
Ever since the government has begun banning Chinese apps, PUBG is among the top Twitter trends and netizens are busy churning out hilarious memes about the PUBG ban. While some memes suggest that the ban is nothing less than a nightmare for its users, others depict how Indian parents would be happy with the news.
The banned apps
1. APUS Launcher Pro- Theme, Live Wallpapers, Smart. 2. APUS Launcher-Theme, Call Show, Wallpaper, HideApps, 3. APUS Security -Antivirus, Phone Security, Cleaner, 4. APUS Turbo Cleaner 2020- Junk Cleaner, Anti-Virus, 5. APUS Flashlight-Free & Bright, 6. Cut Cut – Cut Out & Photo Background Editor, 7. Baidu, 8.Baidu Express Edition, 9. FaceU – Inspire your Beauty, 10. ShareSave by Xiaomi: Latest gadgets, amazing deals, 11. CamCard – Business Card Reader, 12. CamCard Business, 13. CamCard for Salesforce, 14. CamOCR, 15. InNote, 16. Voor Meeting – Tencent Video Conferencing, 17. Super Clean – Master of Cleaner, Phone Booster, 18. WeChat reading 19. Government WeChat, 20. Small Q brush, 21. Tencent Weiyun, 22. Pitu, 23. WeChat Work, 24. Cyber Hunter, 25. Cyber Hunter Lite and 26. Knives Out-No rules, just fight!
27. Super Mecha Champions, 28. LifeAfter, 29. Dawn of Isles, 30. Ludo World-Ludo Superstar, 31. Chess Rush, 32.PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik, 33.PUBG MOBILE LITE, 34. Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade, 35. Art of Conquest: Dark Horizon, 36. Dank Tanks, 37. Warpath, 38. Game of Sultans, 39. Gallery Vault – Hide Pictures And Videos, 40. Smart AppLock (App Protect), 41. Message Lock (SMS Lock)-Gallery Vault Developer Team, 42. Hide App-Hide Application Icon, 43. AppLock, 44. AppLock Lite, 45. Dual Space – Multiple Accounts & App Cloner, 46. ZAKZAK Pro – Live chat & video chat online, 47. ZAKZAK LIVE: live-streaming & video chat app, 48. Music – Mp3 Player, 49. Music Player – Audio Player & 10 Bands Equalizer, 50. HD Camera Selfie Beauty Camera, 51. Cleaner – Phone Booster, 52. Web Browser & Fast Explorer, 53. Video Player All Format for Android, 54. Photo Gallery HD & Editor and 55. Photo Gallery & Album.
56. Music Player – Bass Booster – Free Download, 57. HD Camera – Beauty Cam with Filters & Panorama, 58. HD Camera Pro & Selfie Camera, 59. Music Player – MP3 Player & 10 Bands Equalizer, 60. Gallery HD, 61. Web Browser – Fast, Privacy & Light Web Explorer, 62. Web Browser – Secure Explorer, 63. Music Player – Audio Player, 64. Video Player – All Format HD Video Player, 65. Lamour Love All Over The World, 66. Amour- video chat & call all over the world, 67. MV Master – Make Your Status Video & Community, 68. MV Master – Best Video Maker & Photo Video Editor, 69. APUS Message Center-Intelligent management, 70. LivU Meet new people & Video chat with strangers, 71. Carrom Friends: Carrom Board & Pool Game, 72. Ludo All-Star- Play Online Ludo Game & Board Games, 73. Bike Racing: Moto Traffic Rider Bike Racing Games and 74. Rangers Of Oblivion: Online Action MMO RPG Game.
75. Z Camera – Photo Editor, Beauty Selfie, Collage, 76. GO SMS Pro – Messenger, Free Themes, Emoji, 77. U-Dictionary: Oxford Dictionary Free Now Translate, 78. Unlike – Define your selfie in trendy style, 79. Tantan – Date For Real, 80. MICO Chat: New Friends Banaen our Live Chat Karen, 81. Kitty Live – Live Streaming & Video Live Chat, 82. Malay Social Dating App to Date & Meet Singles, 83. Alipay, 84. AlipayHK, 85. Mobile Taobao, 86. Youku, 87. Road of Kings- Endless Glory, 88. Sina News, 89. Netease News, 90. Penguin FM, 91. Murderous Pursuits, 92. Tencent Watchlist (Tencent Technology), 93. Learn Chinese AI-Super Chinese, 94. HUYA LIVE – Game Live Stream, 95. Little Q Album and 96. Fighting Landlords – Free and happy Fighting Landlords.