The Government banned 59 Chinese mobile apps, including top social media platforms such as TikTok, Helo and WeChat to counter the threat posed by these applicaitons to the country’s “sovereignty and security”, it said in a press release late on Monday. ShareIt, UC browser and Clubfactory are amon the otehr prominent apps that have been blocked amid rising tensions between India and China following clashes at the border two weeks ago.
The government said the applications are engaged in activities “prejudicial to sovereighnty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order. ” The ban has been imposed under SEction 69A of the Information Technology Act read with relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of information by Public) Rules 2009, it said. The government also cited about data of Indian users being transferred abroad without authorisation.
The move could come as a blow to China’s Digital Silk Route ambitions, eroding the valuation of companies. It could also lead to more countries following India’s cue and acting against these apps, sources told ET.
The statement from the Minisitry of Electronics and IT (MeiTY) said it had recieved complaints from various sources, including reports about misuse of some mobile apps for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers outside India.