India’s ploy of hitting back at China amid the ongoing border tensions between the two nations has reached a new high with the former banning another 118 Chinese apps. The banned applications and games include the wildly popular multiplayer battle game PUBG, Apus Launcher, Baidu, MV Master, and Rules of Survival to name a few. The Chinese apps have been banned over data security concerns and the move is strategical since many of these mobile apps are owned by China’s largest internet companies such as Tencent and Ant Financial, which see India as a market with huge revenue potential.
The ban on these apps was called upon by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on September 2, which started the crackdown on apps claimed “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity” of the country in June when the first set of 59 apps including TikTok were banned, which allegedly impacted userbase of over 200 million. This was followed by a ban on 47 more Chinese apps in July.
Terming it as a “move to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace” the Ministry of Electronics & IT in its press statement informed that these banned apps were found guilty of collecting and sharing personal data of users (using the apps) that poses severe threat to the security of the nation. “In the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India…. The Government of India has decided to block the usage of certain apps” (listed here), Ministry noted.
India has now blocked over 200 – some immensely popular – Chinese apps in the country within a span of four months. This is a huge blow for companies behind these apps since they are now cut off of a market that vouches for one of the largest mobile phone userbase in the world. Although we found some of the recently banned applications still available for download on App Store and Google Play (at the time of writing), we are excepting they will be pulled down soon.