In July we reported on the Indian IT ministry’s desire to ban as many as 275 Chinese apps from use in its country as tensions between the two nations showed no signs of easing. While not the aforementioned 275, India has indeed banned more Chinese apps, with 118 now not available for use in the country.
Of the 118, there are quite a few notable being banned, with the most high profile likely being the game PUBG Mobile (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds). Some of the other notable apps added to the banned list include WeChat Work, Tencent Weiyun, Baidu and VPN for TikTok, the Times of India reports.
As for why the mass ban has occurred, privacy of its citizens has once again been cited by the Indian government.
“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,” explains a statement shared with TechCrunch.
“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,” it adds.
This latest ban follows an initial 59 apps that were banned by India a couple of months after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in an incident in the Himalayas in June. Since then, relations between the two nations have been less than ideal, and this latest measure is a likely indicator that a resolution is far away.
While China is yet to provide an official comment on this new list of banned apps, it should be interesting to see how other nations react. Once TikTok was banned in the initial group of 59, the United States was quick to act on the social media app and its parent company ByteDance.
Will the same thing happen here with PUBG Mobile and Tencent?