India’s Ministry of Electronics and IT has released a circular banning apps of Chinese origin in the country. According to the circular, these apps have been banned under section 69A of the IT Act. The government has decided to ban a total of 59 apps in the country since these apps are reportedly “engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order.”
The circular also reveals that the Ministry has received reports from various sources complaining about the “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.” In light of these reports, the Government has decided to ban a total of 59 apps in the country including Xiaomi’s Mi Community and Mi Video Call, TikTok, ShareIt, and more.
List of Chinese apps banned in India
Notably, intelligence agencies in India had shared a list of 52 apps that posed a threat to user’s security. The agencies had warned the government about the seriousness of the threat these apps pose, and to ban them in order to safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users.
However, as per a series of tweets by the Internet Freedom Foundation, the government has not issued a legal order banning apps under Section 69A. Therefore, it’s unclear how exactly India will go about banning these apps, which would be required at an ISP level, or by asking Google and Apple to remove them from their respective app stores. We’ll update this story when we have more information.