- The Indian government took an unprecedented measure on Monday and decided to ban 59 Chinese mobile apps amid ongoing tension on the border.
Amid the heightened tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, the Indian government took an unprecedented measure on Monday and decided to ban 59 Chinese apps.
The list of 59 mobile apps originating in China includes TikTok, SHAREit, US browser, Baidu map, Helo, Mi Community, Club Factory, WeChat, UC News, Weibo, Xender, Meitu, CamScanner, and Clean Master-Cheetah Mobile, among others.
‘Invoking its power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act, the Ministry of Information Technology read with the relevant provisions of the Rules 2009 on Information Technology (Procedure and protections for blocking access to information by the public) and, in view of the evolving nature of the risks, decided to block 59 applications, as they are engaged in blocking 59 applications in the light of the available information.
In the notification, the ministry said it received a lot of complaints from different sources including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms to steal and surreptitiously transmit user data to servers that have locations outside India. “Compiling these details, it’s mining, and profiling elements hostile to India’s national security and the defense that ultimately impedes India’s sovereignty and independence is a matter of very deep and immediate concern that needs emergency action,” the ministry added.
10 days back, Indian intelligence agencies have asked the government to ban or advise people to stop using 52 Chinese mobile apps because of concerns that these were not safe and ended up extracting large amounts of data outside India, Hindustan Times told people familiar with the development.
Calls for action against mobile apps have been made which are perceived as compromising security from time to time. And companies like the hugely popular video-sharing video-sharing app TikTok-owned and operated by ByteDance, a Chinese internet company-have issued denials.
This could be the first time the government has “banned” outright as many China phones. Previously, it had avoided going down that path, issuing only advisories to keep the public wary of Chinese devices. TikTok ‘s ban is of particular importance because it’s just been caught spying on iPhone users, courtesy of the new beta update iOS 14. After then TikTok has admitted to these allegations and said it is not going to do it again.
This story is still developing, we will keep you updated about this.