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India Bans 47 More Chinese Apps, Additional 275 Being Reviewed

July 28, 2020 4:28 am

Beijing (PingWest)—India has banned 47 China-linked apps in the country, and has prepared a list of 275 Chinese apps that have allegedly violated user privacy and national security, India Today TV reported.

The decision came after a high-profile ban on 59 Chinese apps in late June, as the country’s border tensions and anti-China sentiment continues to rise.

India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology banned 59 Chinese apps, including ByteDance's TikTok, Tencent's WeChat, and Alibaba's UC Browser, claiming they were engaged in activities that were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, the security of the state and public order.”

The 59 apps went offline soon after the ban. However, A number of them continued to fly under the government's radar through lite versions, and are being targeted this time. ANI reports that the 47 apps that were asked to be removed this time include TikTok Lite, Helo Lite, SHAREit Lite, BIGO LIVE Lite and VFY Lite.

Government sources told India Today TV that on the authorities' list, the 275 Chinese apps, including Tencent-backed PUBG Mobile and other hit Chinese game apps, are under investigation. According to data intelligence company SensorTower, PUBG has a large user base in India with approximately 175 million downloads.

Moreover, Xiaomi's video streaming app Zili, Alibaba's cross-border e-commerce platform AliExpress, and ByteDance's streaming platform Resso could also be reviewed by the government for violation of data sharing and privacy concerns. 

Some Chinese investors and companies are considering giving up the emerging market as the neighboring country is pushing itself away from China and embracing better relations with the US, which is in its own political turmoil with China. In addition, the revenue contributed by the Indian market is not as satisfactory as expected.