Why Indian government has banned Chinese-owned smartphone apps

 

KEY POINTS

  • 118 Chinese-owned smartphone apps banned in india.

  • The ban issued by India’s Ministry of Electronics & IT.

  • U.S. also banned TikTok and WeChat

  • web browsers, messaging, e-commerce, utility apps were banned too.

The Indian government has banned 118 Chinese-owned smartphone apps, the government’s statement claims that it had received many reports about some of the apps “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India,” adding that the data is mined and profiled by “elements hostile to national security and defence of India.

The ban, issued by India’s Ministry of Electronics & IT, also includes Ant Finacial’s Alipay, Alibaba’s Taobao and more than a hundred other apps including games, web browsers, messaging, e-commerce, utility apps.

The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre and the country’s Ministry of Home Affairs have sent an “exhaustive recommendation” for blocking these “malicious apps”, the IT Ministry said in a press statement.

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While the statement doesn’t explicitly mention China, all the apps banned are owned or operated by companies in China.

The two nuclear-armed Asian neighbors have seen an escalation in tension at their disputed border regions where both armies were involved in a recent standoff.

Ban on Chinese apps welcomed

In USA the Trump administration, which has cracked down on popular Chinese-owned apps in the U.S. including TikTok and WeChat, has praised India’s action on the issue. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo applauded India’s previous ban order, stating that the move would “boost India’s integrity and national security.”

While announcing his executive order banning U.S. transactions with WeChat and TikTok in August, Trump cited India’s ban to build the case for his actions. “The Government of India recently banned the use of TikTok and other Chinese mobile applications throughout the country…they were stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India,” Trump had said.

 

 

 

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