According to a statement, there were a total of 118 apps prohibited by the IT ministry. This move is in the background of new tensions in eastern Ladakh between India and China.
India on Wednesday banned more than 100 mobile applications including the hugely popular mobile gaming app PUBG, after banning 59 Chinese apps in the first round earlier this year. The apps were banned citing concerns of data security after fresh tensions between India and China in the border area in eastern Ladakh.
According to an official statement, a total of 118 apps have been banned by the IT ministry. The Ministry says that prohibited mobile applications are extremely harmful to India’s sovereignty, integrity, defense, and public order.
The banned apps include Baidu, Baidu Express Edition, Tencent Watchlist, FaceU, WeChat Reading, and Tencent Weiyun, besides PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite, the statement read. According to some reports, there are nearly 33 million active PUBG players in India, making it one of the most popular apps downloaded in the country. PUBG reportedly clocks 13 million users per day.
Several complaints have been received from different sources by the Ministry of Electronics and IT, including reports of abuse of some mobile apps on Android or iOS platforms. The allegations were that user data were robbed and suddenly transmitted to servers that could have locations outside India in an unauthorized way.
“The compilation of these data, it’s mining, and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defense of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,” the statement said.
A proposal was also made under the Ministry of Internal Affairs by the Indian Cyber-Crime Coordinating Center to block these controversial applications.
In the public domain, too, strong demands have been made for some time to tighten up mobile applications that harm the sovereignty of India and citizens’ privacy.
This move will also protect the interests of mobile and Internet users in India. The decision is aimed at ensuring the safety, protection, and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace, according to the statement.
Earlier in June, the Centre had banned 59, mostly Chinese, mobile applications such as TikTok, UC Browser and WeChat, citing concerns that these are ‘ prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of state and public.
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