The indian government banned 59 Chinese mobile applications, including top social media platforms such as TikTok, Helo and WeChat, to counter the threat posed by these applications to the country’s “sovereignty and security,” it said in a press release late on Monday.
ShareIT, UC browser and shopping app Clubfactory are among the other prominent apps that have been blocked amid rising tensions between India and China following clashes at the border two weeks ago.
The govt said the applications are engaged in activities “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.” The ban has been imposed under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009, it said. The government also cited complaints about data on Indian users being transferred abroad without authorisation.
The move could come as a blow to China’s Digital Silk Route ambitions, eroding the valuation of the companies. It could also lead to more countries following India’s cue and acting against these apps, sources told ET.
A top official said the government had considered all aspects before taking the decision. “These apps have been there for a long time, and there are some privacy and security issues with them including risks of data going out of the country,” said the person.
The statement from the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) said it had received complaints from various sources, including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers outside India.
BDST: 1333 HRS, JUN 30, 2020