Under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, the Government of India barred 43 Chinese mobile applications from being accessed by users in India on Tuesday.
“This action was taken based on the inputs regarding these apps for engaging in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, the security of the state and public order,” the Centre said in an official statement.
Based on the detailed reports obtained from the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued an order to block the access of these applications by users in India.
One of the banned apps was the famous shopping website AliExpress, which is a significant blow to Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant. This is another setback for the e-commerce giant after the initial public offering (IPO) of its Ant Company of $37 billion (£28 billion) was halted in China.
The Centre had previously restricted access to 59 Chinese mobile apps on 28 June 2020, and 118 more apps under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act were barred on 2 September 2020. The Government is committed to preserving, on all fronts, the rights of people and the sovereignty and reputation of India and to taking all possible measures to ensure this.
According to an official announcement, the banned apps include Baidu, Baidu Express Edition, Tencent Watchlist, FaceU, WeChat Reading, Ludo All-Star, Alipay and Tencent Weiyun, in addition to PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite.
The Indian government’s latest move comes amid continuing border tensions between India and China.
Since May, when New Delhi discovered attempts by Chinese forces to invade Indian territory, tensions between India and China have been high. On June 15, troops from both sides engaged in a violent clash, killing 20 Indian soldiers and an undisclosed number on the Chinese side. Shortly afterward, India’s decision to ban 58 apps followed measures to block Chinese investments in key infrastructure sectors such as roads and telecoms.