India blocks PUBG Mobile, Baidu, AliPay, and a bunch of other Chinese apps
That makes 160+ apps banned in total so far.
In a recent press release, India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said that the country banned 118 apps with ties to the people’s Republic of China. That’s on top of the 50 apps that they previously banned in June.
In June, India’s government even banned the high-flying WeChat and TikTok. Both companies faced heavy losses as India was one of the biggest and most important markets for them.
According to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, there have been multiple complaints, from various sources, that certain apps might be stealing user data and sending it to servers that are not located in India. They find that very suspicious and believe that it might present a danger to India’s sovereignty and an assault on the privacy of the people in India.
Analysts believe that this is related to the recent escalations between India and China that are taking place at the Himalayan mountain border. This is not a new dispute, but an old one that has caused tensions between these two superpowers for almost half a century. A few recent skirmishes ignited the old spirits, and now tensions are running high in that area again.
Some IT experts believe that the apps, if not banned, can potentially be used as tools for espionage and cyber warfare. The US is looking into the conduct of Chinese apps and their handling of data, as well. Most notably, they threatened to ban the use of TikTok and ordered US companies not to use the WeChat platform.
Peter Navarro, a trade advisor for the White House, notes the current administration is also evaluating the conduct of several other Chinese apps. He didn’t say whether some actions will take place soon, just that they got a list of Chinese apps that are being closely monitored.
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