Apps

Indian government issues ban order for 54 Chinese apps: Report

Indian government has issued a ban order on 54 Chinese apps. The report stated that most of these 54 Chinese apps are “rebranded or rechristened avatars” of apps banned in 2022.

Updated:Mon, February 14, 2022 12:30pm

By Sneha Saha

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According to a new report, the Indian government has issued a fresh order to ban more than 54 Chinese apps under Section 69a of the Information Technology Act, 2000. While the list of the apps hasn't been revealed yet, the report suggests that these apps are from major Chinese tech firms like Tencent, Alibaba, gaming company NetEase, among others.

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The ET report states that most of these 54 Chinese apps are "rebranded or rechristened avatars" of apps banned in 2020. To recall, in 2020, the government of India banned hundreds of Chinese apps including some of the popular ones like PUBG Mobile, PUBG Mobile Lite, TikTok, Camscanner, among others. These banned Chinese apps are no longer accessible in the country.

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Fresh ban on Chinese apps

At the issue of the new order, the ministry of electronics and IT said that these Chinese apps were transferring the sensitive data of Indians to foreign servers in China. "The 54 apps have already been blocked from being accessed in India through the Play Store," an official close to the development told the publication.

The report suggests that most of these 54 Chinese apps are cloned versions of already banned applications. A senior official close to the development said, "many of the apps from the stable of Tencent and Alibaba, have changed hands to hide ownership. They are also being hosted out of countries like Hong Kong or Singapore, but the data was ultimately going to servers in Chinese destinations".

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"Even apps such as ByteDance-owned TikTok and Tencent's WeChat were available for download through alternative means such as APK files, and the government has taken cognizance of it," the official noted.

As per an ANI report, the "54 Chinese apps include Beauty Camera: Sweet Selfie HD, Beauty Camera - Selfie Camera, Equalizer & Bass Booster, CamCard for SalesForce Ent, Isoland 2: Ashes of Time Lite, Viva Video Editor, Tencent Xriver, Onmyoji Chess, Onmyoji Arena, AppLock, Dual Space Lite".

Is Free Fire banned in India?

In a recent development, the Free Fire app has been removed from the Google Play store as well as Apple App Store. The app was taken down from the app stores on January 12. Garena or Google and Apple have not commented on the matter yet. Free Fire Max app has also been removed from the Apple App store but it is available on the Play store. Read for more details. There is no confirmation on whether the battle royale game has been blocked in the country. Some reports suggest that it Free Fire app has been delisted due to technical issues.

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