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59 Chinese Apps Banned

 

Topics Covered: Internal security related issues

59 Chinese Apps Banned

 

Indian government has put a ban on 59 apps including TikTok and WeChat.

This marks the largest sweep against the Chinese technology companies.

 

Why the Govt decided to ban 59 Chinese apps?

These measures have been undertaken since there is credible information that these apps are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.

  • The government had received complaints from various sources including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India.

Therefore, the decision has been taken in a bid to safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile users.

 

Background:

The ban comes days after Indian intelligence agencies red flagged these Chinese apps over safety and privacy issues of users.

The recommendations of the intelligence agencies have backing of the National Security Council Secretariat which determined that certain China-linked applications could be detrimental to the country’s security.

 

How it Will Affect Indian Users?

Jobs at stake:

Most of these platforms have Indian creators, for many of whom this is the only source of income.

Some apps on the banned list are widely popular among Indians.

  • TikTok (one of the banned apps) has more than 100 million active users in India. TikTok was the only source of income for many users.

Besides, many of these apps such as UC News and others have offices and employees in India, hence following the ban, scores of jobs could be at stake.

 

What next?

  • Meity has issued instructions to Google and Apple to remove the banned applications from their respective application stores.
  • Additionally, telecom operators and Internet service providers will be asked to block access and use of these applications on their networks.
  • For this, the Ministry has invoked its power under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009.

Sources: the Hindu.