India has banned as many as 59 Chinese apps including the most used ones like CamScanner, TikTok, WeChat, Helo, UCBrowser, ShareIt, and many more.
Here is an extensive list of all the Chinese apps that have been banned by the Indian Government.
The announcement was made in a press release on Monday where the Government of India declared that steps were being taken to combat threats to its sovereignty and security. The government officials further added that the applications are believed to be engaged in activities that can be harmful to the security of the state, integrity, defense system, and sovereignty of India. Apart from this, it can also be prejudicial to its law and public order.
The ban came into force after multiple complaints of unauthorized data leakage through several apps to servers outside India, mainly Chinese servers. In light of this, the Indian government has laid a ban on 59 Chinese apps under Section 69 A of the Information Technology Act, 2009. The Act deals with security and controlled access to public information.
India’s decision to ban Chinese apps can officially lead to the dissolution of China’s Digital Silk Route Plans and the movement is also anticipated to be followed by several other countries.
“The applications have been in the market for a long time, and were causing multiple privacy and security issues along with data leakage, After weighing all the aspects we decided to ban all possible applications”, said a top government official.
Apart from this, the Ministry of Electronics and IT also added that they have come across various instances of a data breach and misuse of users’ data by these myriads of Chinese apps.
An official from MeitY further added that “the mining, extraction, and compilation of data that is dangerous for the country’s security and defense is a matter of great concern about India’s sovereignty and integrity and some immediate emergency measures are required for safeguarding the valuable information”.
He further added that the actions have been taken after scrutinizing the threats imposed by these applications on the security of 130 crore Indian citizens. Strong recommendations were also sent by the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre.
Our priority is to get an answer about transparency and that the banning of these Chinese apps is not legally a part of Section 69A currently, said the Indian Freedom Foundation. In addition to this, the federation has also asked people to take the matter subjectively. An official further added that the privacy of people’s data is important and the goal can only be achieved by following strict regulatory measures.
The Benefit to Indian Competitors
The ban on Chinese apps is a welcome move to similar Indian companies. ShareChat, the Indian social network along with InMobi, the ad tech company said that the move will open better grounds for Indian companies. In addition to this Bolo Indya, Indian TikTok rival also added that they will be benefited in the long run, and will also help in ensuring data safety and security.
Main Aspects of the Ban on the Chinese Apps
“The discontinuation of the Chinese apps can be considered in two aspects, firstly, the removal will hamper the Chinese economy as India was one of its major markets, whereas on the other hand the kind of data threats imposed on the users cannot be justified and does not hold much relevance in the court of law”. Said Santosh Pai, the official in charge of tracking Chinese investments in the Indian economy.
Investors like Deepak Gupta from WEK Ventures have quoted that the movement of Chinese apps out of the Indian market will also lower the competition for local developers.
What will be the Impact on Indians?
TikTok, Bigo Live, Helo, and Likee are some of the most popular and widely used Chinese apps in India. A massive chunk of the Indian population is dependent on these apps for earning their bread and butter and might leave them unemployed.
Is the Ban on the Chinese Mobile Apps Permanent?
This is not the first time that the Indian Government has imposed a ban on Chinese apps. Last year Tik Tok was banned for a few days as per the orders released by the Madras Government. However, the current ban on Chinese apps is being considered as a strategic move to safeguard national security.