India bans 59 Chinese apps over national security concerns

India bans 59 Chinese apps over national security concerns”

Amidst a surging wave of anti-China sentiment following border clashes between China and India, the Indian government has banned 59 popular Chinese apps.

The order issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said, "This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users". MEITY issued the ban under Section 69 of the IT Act, but according to a series of tweets from the Internet Freedom Foundation, there are no legal grounds - even under the purview of national security - to issue a wholesale ban on a wide range of services. While these three have already garnered millions of downloads from both Google Play Store and Apple App Store, users might not be able to use these in the coming days. "It has been noted recently that such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of our country", said the government.

The apps include video-sharing platform TIkTok, social media app WeChat, and UC Browser developed by a company owned by China's e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Jayanth Kolla, an analyst at research firm Convergence Catalyst, told TechCrunch the move was surprising and will have huge impact on Chinese firms, many of which count India as their biggest market.

The government of India said today that it will ban 59 mobile apps with ties to China, including TikTok, amid escalating military tensions between the two Asian superpowers along their shared border.

The list of apps that the central government has banned
The list of apps that the central government has banned

The ministry says that several complaints of data theft and privacy violation led to the decision to ban the 59 apps - though no date for the ban to take effect has been confirmed. The young adults and children, who were using apps for views and likes, were horribly targeted by sexual predators.

They added that compilation, mining and platforming of this data was "a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures".

The decision on the ban was taken following inputs from Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (Ministry of Home Affairs), Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN), public representatives and citizens.

It also stated that "the Ministry of Information Technology has received many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding the security of data and risk to privacy relating to the operation of certain apps".

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