The government on Wednesday banned 118 applications of which majority of them are Chinese. These apps include popular ones such as PUBG, WeChat Work, Baidu, CamCard, Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade and Alipay, stating that these were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of State and public order”.
These apps are on top of the 59 Chinese applications, including TikTok, Shareit, Mi Video Call, Club Factory and Cam Scanner which were banned in June.
In a statement, the government said this move would safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and Internet users and the decision was a targeted move to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) said it had received many complaints about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers that have locations outside India.
“The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,” it stated.
Additionally, the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs, has sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these “malicious apps” and similar bipartisan concerns have been flagged by various public representatives, both outside and inside Parliament.
“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 Ministry said.
“In the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India and security of the State. And using the sovereign powers, the Government of India has decided to block the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet-enabled devices,” it added.
Some of the applications banned are APUS Security, Baidu, Baidu Express Edition, FaceU – Inspire your Beauty, ShareSave by Xiaomi, CamCard, InNote, Super Clean, WeChat Work, Tencent Weiyun, Cyber Hunter, Knives Out-No rules, just fight!, Dawn of Isles, Ludo World-Ludo Superstar, Chess Rush, PUBG MOBILE, Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade, Art of Conquest: Dark Horizon, AppLock, Road of Kings- Endless, VPN for TikTok and Legend: Rising Empire NetEase Games.