In a sweeping move, Centre has permanently banned 59 Chinese apps including ByteDance’s short video app TikTok, WeChat, Baidu, Alibaba’s UC Browser, Club Factory, BIGO Live and others.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had issued fresh notices to permanently ban these app, imposed in June 2020 as it was “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.
Earlier, the government had directed these companies to explain their position on compliance with data privacy and security. However, the move comes after the government expressed dissatisfaction with the companies response on various aspects including data collection and data processing methods.
Other apps that are likely to be banned permanently are SHAREit, Likee, Weibo, and Xiaomi’s Mi Community.
In a bid to sway the Chinese influence in the country, the government has banned a total of 267 apps, mostly Chinese, were banned in batches.
The strong reaction from the government emerged amid the growing border tension between India and China along Line of Actual Control, that started in May 2020.
The Centre had banned these apps under Section 64A of the IT Act, alleging misuse of data of Indian citizens, businesses, surveillance and engaging in anti-India activities.
Issuing a statement, the government claims the move was based on “comprehensive reports received from Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Center, Ministry of Home Affairs.”
Indian armies and People’s Liberation Army has been engaged in border row and several rounds of military and diplomatic level talks have been held to resolve the current dispute.