PUBG and 117 other apps including Baidu and Rise of Kingdoms banned in India

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 02 September 2020 14:06 BST
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PUBG and 117 other mostly Chinese-owned apps have been banned in India.

The block comes after the Indian government already banned some 59 other apps, which included TikTok.

The Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said that the apps are "prejudicial to [the] sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".

The list includes PUBG Mobile – though not the full version of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds, which is available on consoles – as well as other popular games such as Rise of Kingdoms, Chinese search giant Baidu and apps made by WeChat. Many of those banned were generic apps without brand names, such as "Photo Gallery & Album" and "Web Browser".

As with the previous list of banned apps, India did not specifically say that the apps were being banned because they were Chinese, and it did not mention the country in its announcement. But the majority of the apps named appeared to have Chinese developers or stakeholders.

Tensions between the two countries have continued over the summer, which have led to deadly skirmishes over a contested border. Internationally, questions continue to be raised over the data practices of apps developed in China, and their relationship the country's government, which among other things have led the US to threaten to ban TikTok if it is not sold.

The Indian government said that the ban came after the ministry "received many 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 of India".

It did not give any specific information about those complaints or mention any accusations against any particular apps.

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