India mulls ban on 275 more Chinese apps, including PUBG
Weeks after banning as many as 59 applications from China over safety concerns, India has put 275 more apps from the neighboring nation on its radar. According to a report in The Economic Times, the government plans to look into all these platforms for user privacy or national security violations and weed out anything that poses a threat. Here is all about it.
Several popular apps red-flagged
Speaking to multiple people, ET has learned that the Indian government has drawn a list of 275 questionable apps developed/backed by Chinese giants The list includes several popular names, including Tencent's PUBG, Xiaomi's Zili and 14 Mi apps, Alibaba's AliExpress, and ByteDance's Resso and ULike. Even apps from Chinese players like Meitu, LBE Tech, Perfect Corp, Sina, and Netease Games are on the radar.
Note: Ban not confirmed yet
All the 275 of the apps are being assessed for privacy violations but it is not clear which (if any) of them would be banned. "The government may ban all, some or none from the list," said one of the individuals who revealed the work on the list. The Union Home Ministry has not responded to queries regarding this matter.
Here's what MeitY said on the possible ban
"There is a process involved, there is a committee in place for such ban orders. If there is such an order, then MeitY will act," an official from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said on the possibility of another ban order.
Review to identify questionable Chinese apps underway: Official
An official source cited by ET confirmed the report, saying that the review to identify questionable Chinese apps is underway. "Some of these apps have been red-flagged due to security reasons while others have been listed for violation of data sharing and privacy concerns," the person added. Additionally, other officials added, the flow of data from these apps to China is also being examined.
Government wants to formalize process of banning questionable apps
Adding more on the matter, another senior government official told ET that the Government of India is looking to formalize the process of banning questionable apps. As part of this, it has asked the concerned ministry to frame some form of law, circular or regulation that could enable the constant examination and banning of questionable foreign apps active in India.
47 Chinese app clones also banned
As the possibility of a ban looms over the 275 Chinese apps, the Indian government is proceeding with the culling of the clones of the apps that were banned late last month. As India Today reports, 47 Chinese apps providing access to banned services such as TikTok and CamScanner have been targeted by the country. The full app list is yet to be revealed.