The Indian government today (June 29) banned 59 Chinese mobile apps, including vastly popular TikTok, Shareit, WeChat, terming them prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and defence of India.
In a statement, the government said the apps were blocked “in view of the information available they are engaged in activities that are harmful to the security of the state and public order”.
The release said that the Ministry of Information Technology has 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 unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.
“The compilation of these data, its 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. At the same time, there have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians,” said the release.
The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps, the release said.
This Ministry also received many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding the security of data and risk to privacy relating to 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 public order issues.
“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 Indian cyberspace”, the release said.
Following the June 15 altercation at the Galwan valley where 20 Indian soldiers were martyred and more than 70 were injured, there was a national uproar and demand to sever ties with China economically and otherwise.
Following is the list of banned Chinese apps:
List of 59 apps banned by Government of India “which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”. pic.twitter.com/p6T2Tcd5rI
— ANI (@ANI) June 29, 2020
The tense situation at India-China border has stirred anti-China sentiments in the country, with protestors and traders bodies also calling for boycott of Chinese products.
(With inputs from agencies.)