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With Tensions Simmering, Indian Government Strikes Back By Banning 59 Chinese Apps. SHAREit and TikTok Included

Amid death and sky-high tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Indian government has just now struck back at what it views as unwarranted Chinese aggression and expansionism. Targeted are a host of Chinese apps that the government of India feels are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order.”

The long list of proscribed mobile apps includes the like of TikoTok, UC Browser, SHAREit, Baudi map, Mi Community, WeChat, Helo, UC News, Weibo, Club Factory, Xender, Mi Video Call, Meitu, Clean Master and CamScanner.

The order banning at least 59 Chinese apps was issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). It decried the apparent threat these apps posed to the Indian nation, its people, and their interests and noted that “this move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of the Indian cyberspace.”

Here’s a full list of the banned apps:

1. TikTok

2. Shareit

3. Kwai

4. UC Browser

5. Baidu map

6. Shein

7. Clash of Kings

8. DU battery saver

9. Helo

10. Likee

11. YouCam makeup

12. Mi Community

13. CM Browers

14. Virus Cleaner

15. APUS Browser

16. ROMWE

17. Club Factory

18. Newsdog

19. Beauty Plus

20. WeChat

21. UC News

22. QQ Mail

23. Weibo

24. Xender

25. QQ Music

26. QQ Newsfeed

27. Bigo Live

28. SelfieCity

29. Mail Master

30. Parallel Space

31. Mi Video Call — Xiaomi

32. WeSync

33. ES File Explorer

34. Viva Video — QU Video Inc

35. Meitu

36. Vigo Video

37. New Video Status

38. DU Recorder

39. Vault-Hide

40. Cache Cleaner DU App studio

41. DU Cleaner

42. DU Browser

43. Hago Play With New Friends

44. Cam Scanner

45. Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile

46. Wonder Camera

47. Photo Wonder

48. QQ Player

49. We Meet

50. Sweet Selfie

51. Baidu Translate

52. Vmate

53. QQ International

54. QQ Security Center

55. QQ Launcher

56. U Video

57. V fly Status Video

58. Mobile Legends

59. DU Privacy

Full Statement Of The Indian Government Over Chinese App Ban

A full statement setting out the reasons for proscribing 59 Chinese apps has been released. Here is it:

Over the last few years, India has emerged as a leading innovator when it comes to technological advancements and a primary market in the digital space.

At the same time, there have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians. It has been noted recently that such concerns also pose a threat to the sovereignty and security of our country. The Ministry of Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India. The compilation of these data, it’s 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.

The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps. This Ministry has also received many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding the security of data and risk to privacy relating to the operation of certain apps. The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) has also received many representations from citizens regarding the security of data and breach of privacy impacting upon public order issues. Likewise, there have been similar bipartisan concerns, flagged by various public representatives, both outside and inside the Parliament of India. 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.

On the basis of these and upon receiving of recent credible inputs that such Apps pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of India, the Government of India has decided to disallow the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet-enabled devices. These apps are listed in the attached appendix.

At Each Others Throats

There are many viable reasons for this surprise move by the Indian government. It comes in the wake of skyrocketing tensions along its border with China, which has led to troop movements and reinforcements by either side to shore up their position in the oxygen-depleted terrain. It also follows upon the widely reported and shocking Galwan Valley clash, during which some 20 Indian soldiers died in hand-to-hand combat and of exposure.

Sources also relate the death of scores of Chinese soldiers during the clash, though the precise number remains unclear. The clash happened in mid-June and began when unarmed Indian soldiers on a reconnaissance mission were set upon and attacked.

The June clash and others this year have as expected spurred an outflow of nationalism by the citizens of both countries, with threats and counter-threats flying on the cybersphere. Indians are also currently boycotting Chinese products and services, with clips of them destroying their made in China consumer electronics common on sites like Twitter and YouTube.

What the next step will remain unclear as the two nuclear superpowers rush to get the upper hand and dominate the other by any means necessary.

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