India has banned 54 Chinese apps over privacy, security and espionage concerns, saying that they were clones of previously taken down applications that obtained critical permissions to collect sensitive user data.
On February 14, the government of India issued an order to ban another 54 mobile apps linked to China under the emergency provision envisaged in Section 69(A) of the IT Act. As per reports, the Ministry of Home Affairs had sent a request to the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to block the apps.
On June 29, 2020, the central government had announced a ban on 59 Chinese apps, including the very popular short-video app TikTok. Later on August 10, another set of 47 apps was banned that were either related to or clones of the previously banned apps. On September 1, 2020, another 118 apps were blocked, followed by 43 apps on November 19, making it a total of 267 apps. Tiktok and PubG were the most popular apps that were banned by the Government of India for their links to China. Ravi Shankar Prasad, the then electronics and information technology minister, called the bans a “digital strike against China.”
The ministry has asked Google Playstore and other electronic stores to take off these apps. India has since June 2020 banned some 224 Chinese bans for National security reasons, pulling down popular services like TikTok, WeChat and UC News.
“Many of the apps from the stable of Tencent and Alibaba have changed hands to hide ownership,” an unnamed government official was quoted saying in the newspaper’s report.
“These collected real-time data are being misused and transmitted to servers located in a hostile country. This will enable them to compile huge personal data to mine, collate, analyze and profile by the elements who are hostile to the sovereignty and integrity of India and for activities detrimental to national security,” the IT ministry said in a statement.
“In addition, there are other serious concerns as some of these apps can carry out espionage and surveillance activities via camera/mic, accessing fine location (GPS) and do malicious network activity similar to previously blocked apps. These apps were allegedly engaged in activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of the country also posing a serious threat to the security of the state and defense of India,” it added.
List of 54 apps banned as of February 14, 2022
- APUS Security HD (Pad Version)
- Barcode Scanner – QR Code Scan
- Beauty Camera – Selfie Camera
- Beauty Camera: Sweet Selfie HD
- CamCard for SalesForce Ent
- Conquer Online
- Conquer Online – MMORPG Game
- CuteU Pro
- CuteU: Match With The World
- Dual Space – 32Bit Support
- Dual Space – 64Bit Support
- Dual Space Lite – Multiple Accounts & Clone App
- Dual Space Pro – 32Bit Support
- Dual Space Pro – Multiple Accounts & App Cloner
- DualSpace Lite – 32Bit Support
- Equalizer – Bass Booster & Volume EQ & Virtualizer
- Equalizer & Bass Booster – Music Volume EQ
- Equalizer Pro – Volume Booster & Bass Booster
- EVE Echoes
- Extraordinary Ones
- FancyU – Video Chat & Meetup
- FancyU pro – Instant Meetup through Video chat!
- FunChat Meet People Around You
- Garena Free Fire – Illuminate
- Isoland 2: Ashes of Time Lite
- Lica Cam – selfie camera app
- Live Weather & Radar – Alerts
- MoonChat: Enjoy Video Chats
- MP3 Cutter – Ringtone Maker & Audio Cutter
- Music Player – Equalizer & MP3
- Music Player – MP3 Player
- Music Player – Music, MP3 Player
- Music Plus – MP3 Player
- Nice video baidu
- Notes – Color Notepad, Notebook
- Onmyoji Arena
- Onmyoji Chess
- Parallel Space Lite 32 Support
- RealU Lite -video to live!
- RealU: Go Live, Make Friends
- Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
- SmallWorld-Enjoy groupchat and video chat
- Stick Fight: The Game Mobile
- Tencent Xriver
- Twilight Pioneers
- UU Game Booster-network solution for high ping
- Video Player Media All Format
- Viva Video Editor – Snack Video Maker with Music
- Voice Recorder & Voice Changer
- Volume Booster – Loud Speaker & Sound Booster
- Wink: Connect Now