- Popular Chinese apps like TikTok and UC Browser have been banned permanently in India
- The ban comes after seven months after the government temporarily blocked the apps
- Company responses to the show cause notice were unsatisfactory resulting in a permanent ban
Last year, the Government of India issued a ban on a total of 267 Chinese apps over a span of several months. The list included some popular apps like ByteDance’s TikTok, Tencent’s WeChat, Alibaba’s UC Browser and more. The apps were banned on the grounds of violation of national security and user privacy.
Today, India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has permanently banned 59 Chinese apps after unsatisfactory response from companies regarding data and privacy.
TikTok, UC Browser among 59 Chinese apps permanently banned in India
The permanent ban on the Chinese apps comes under Section 69A of IT act stating that the apps were engaging in activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of the country. The MeitY sent out new notices to companies last week and said that their answers with respect to compliance and privacy following the ban were found inadequate. The companies were asked to respond to 77 questions amid rising tensions between India and China due to border dispute.
As a result, the temporary blockage of Chinese apps has now been made permanent. Apart from TikTok, WeChat, UC Browser, the list of banned apps include Club Factory, Shein, Clash of Kings, CamScanner, Likee, Mi Video Call, Baidu, Xender, ES File Explorer and others.
Sources familiar with the matter said that the permanent ban has been imposed for 59 apps for now. No decision has been reached on the rest of the banned apps yet.
Shortly after the permanent ban, ByteDance-owned TikTok said that “We continually strive to comply with local laws and regulations and do our best to address any concerns the government may have. Ensuring the privacy and security of all our users remains to be our topmost priority.”