Beijing (PingWest)—On Wednesday, India’s IT Ministry ordered to ban another 118 Chinese apps that it said were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order.”
The move will help “safeguard the interests of crores (tens of millions) of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security, and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace,” the ministry said.
Search engine Baidu, Alipay, Mobile Taobao, WeChat Work, PUBG mobile, Rise of Kingdoms, VPN for TikTok, dating app Tantan, social media Mico, and others are on the list.
PUBG, published and distributed in India by Chinese giant Tencent, is by far the most popular app among the newly banned apps. It had more than 40 million monthly active users in India, according data intelligence firm Sensor Tower.
“The Ministry of Electronics and 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 of India,” the ministry said in a statement. “There has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens.”
Prior to this, the Indian authorities have banned 59 Chinese apps in June, including TikTok, Bigo Live, Likee, WeChat and Alibaba's UC Browser, and UC News, indicating that they have security issues.
Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus and the border conflict between China and India, anti-China sentiment has trended in India. In April, India also changed its foreign investment policy, requiring Chinese investors to obtain approval from New Delhi before injecting new funds to Indian companies.
Last month, Alibaba Group reportedly halted any new investments in Indian firms for at least six months.