India bans 54 Chinese mobile apps over national security fears

Some of the banned apps are owned by multinational Chinese tech giants Alibaba and Tencent

Sravasti Dasgupta
Monday 14 February 2022 13:59
Comments
<p>Representational: India has banned 54 Chinese apps over national security concerns </p>

Representational: India has banned 54 Chinese apps over national security concerns

India’s federal government has banned 54 Chinese mobile apps, including those owned by multinational tech giants Alibaba and Tencent, citing national security concerns.

Some of the banned apps include “Viva Video Editor”, “Beauty Camera: Sweet Selfie HD”, “Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade”, “MoonChat”, “Barcode Scanner - QR Code Scan” and “Lica Cam” among others.

The apps were blocked because they misused and transmitted real-time date to servers in a “hostile country”, India’s electronics and information technology ministry said in a statement on Monday, without naming China.

“This will enable them to compile huge personal data to mine, collate, analyse and profile by the elements who are hostile to the sovereignty and integrity of India and for activities detrimental to national security,” the statement said.

The ministry said the decision to block the apps was taken after a request from the federal home ministry under the emergency provision in Section 69(A) of the Information Technology (IT) Act.

This is not the first time the Indian government has blocked Chinese apps.

The government had blocked Chinese apps at least four times in 2020 alone following a border clash with China in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley.

In June 2020, the federal government blocked 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok.

On 10 August the same year, it blocked another 47 related or cloning apps, after which it blocked 118 apps and 43 apps in September and November respectively.

On Monday, the government said the 54 blocked apps were either cloned versions or had the same functionality, privacy issues and security threats as the previously blocked 267 apps.

The federal home ministry said in its report to the IT ministry that the apps could be used to carry out espionage and surveillance activities via “camera/mic, accessing fine location (GPS) and do malicious network activity similar to previously blocked apps”.

The government added in its statement that the apps allegedly engaged in activities prejudicial to the country’s sovereignty and integrity, and also posed a serious threat to the security of the state and India’s defence.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in