India bans 59 Chinese mobile apps after border clash

TikTok, WeChat, UC Browser among 59 Chinese apps banned by India

TikTok logo disintegrating. (Twitter, @Official_Arnab_ meme photo)

TikTok logo disintegrating. (Twitter, @Official_Arnab_ meme photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — India on Monday (June 29) took the unprecedented step of banning 59 Chinese apps as tensions between the two countries continue to rise after a bloody melee broke out on a disputed stretch of border two weeks ago.

On June 16, a melee broke out between Indian and Chinese troops on a disputed stretch of border in the Ladakh region, with the Indian side suffering 20 dead and the PLA counting at least 35 slain, including a commanding officer. Outraged, Indians took to the streets calling for a boycott of Chinese goods, and the Indian government followed suit on Monday, announcing that it would ban 59 Chinese mobile apps, including TikTok, WeChat, UC Browser, and Cam Scanner.

In a press release issued on Monday, India's Ministry of Information Technology wrote that the decision to ban the apps was made after it had discovered that they are engaged in activities "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order," reported the Hindustan Times. The release went on to say that the ministry received complaints that many Chinese apps have been "surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India."

Law, Electronics, and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday (June 30) took to Twitter to write that the move was made for the sake of the "safety, security, defence, sovereignty & integrity of India and to protect data & privacy of people of India." Indian intelligence agencies had been pushing for some time to restrict the Chinese mobile apps, as they are notorious for extracting data and storing it overseas, potentially enabling them to violate the privacy of Indian citizens.

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) welcomed the move by describing it as a "huge unprecedented step" that would boost its "Boycott China" campaign. Indian-made social media app ShareChat also lauded the move and called on the government to continue to promote the domestic startup ecosystem.

The ban will be a major blow to Chinese app makers, with TikTok alone boasting 120 million users in India, its largest overseas market. Chinese smartphone manufacturers could also soon see a massive blow to their bottom line, as they commanded a whopping 73 percent of India's cellphone market just before the border confrontation, according to Candytech.

The notable apps on the list include video-sharing app TikTok as well as utility and content apps UC Browser, Xender, SHAREit, and Clean-master. Also on the list are popular social media apps WeChat, Weibo, and Tencent QQ.

The following is the full list of Chinese apps blocked in India:

  1. TikTok
  2. Shareit
  3. Kwai
  4. UC Browser
  5. Baidu map
  6. Shein
  7. Clash of Kings
  8. DU battery saver
  9. Helo
  10. Likee
  11. YouCam makeup
  12. Mi Community
  13. CM Browsers
  14. Virus Cleaner
  15. APUS Browser
  16. ROMWE
  17. Club Factory
  18. Newsdog
  19. Beauty Plus
  20. WeChat
  21. UC News
  22. QQ Mail
  23. Weibo
  24. Xender
  25. QQ Music
  26. QQ Newsfeed
  27. Bigo Live
  28. SelfieCity
  29. Mail Master
  30. Parallel Space
  31. Mi Video – Xiaomi
  32. WeSync
  33. ES File Explorer
  34. Viva Video – QU Video Inc
  35. Meitu
  36. Vigo Video
  37. New Video Status
  38. DU Recorder
  39. Vault- Hide
  40. Cache Cleaner DU App studio
  41. DU Cleaner
  42. DU Browser
  43. Hago Play With New Friends
  44. Cam Scanner
  45. Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile
  46. Wonder Camera
  47. Photo Wonder
  48. QQ Player
  49. We Meet
  50. Sweet Selfie
  51. Baidu Translate
  52. Vmate
  53. QQ International
  54. QQ Security Center
  55. QQ Launcher
  56. U Video
  57. V fly Status Video
  58. Mobile Legends
  59. DU Privacy

Updated : 2021-01-25 09:15 GMT+08:00