Clearing the confusion regarding a fake NIC order against Chinese apps in India, the Indian government recently clarified that no such instructions have been given to either Google or Apple to block apps in the country. The fake NIC order that has apparently gone viral in the country is a hoax and is not authentic. Also Read - OnePlus, Xiaomi products continue to sell out despite trending anti-China sentiments
Amidst the rising tensions between neighboring countries India and China, a recent complication at the border provoked some big-time anti-China sentiments in the country. Among the many elements that followed was a movement against many popular Chinese brands and even smartphone applications. Also Read - Micromax planning to launch 3 new smartphones amid backlash against Chinese brands
Watch: Weekly News Roundup – June 19
As per the fake message, the Indian Government had directed the regional executive representatives of Google and Apple to “restrict the functioning of Chinese applications from the respective stores with immediate effect”. The fake message went on to name many applications that have a Chinese origin. This includes TikTok, CamScanner, VMate, Vigo Video, LiveMe, Bigo Live, Beauty Plus, and more. The list also includes some popular games like Mobile Legends, Clash of Kings, and Gale of Sultans. Also Read - 52 Chinese apps red-flagged by Indian Intel agencies; TikTok, ShareIt, UC Browser, Clean Master in list
Claim: A viral message of an order allegedly from NIC claims that @GoI_Meity has prohibited some apps from being made available on App Stores. #PIBFactCheck: The Order is #Fake. No such instruction has been given by @GoI_MeitY or NIC. pic.twitter.com/Dt7rMR7nIz
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) June 19, 2020
However, this report is not to be confused with another recent report where Indian intelligence agencies asked the government to block or advise people to stop using a bunch of applications that are apparently extracting user data. These Chinese apps, 52 in number include TikTok, ShareIt, UC Browser, Xender, and Clean Master, among many others.
The concern raised is that the applications in question end up extracting a huge amount of private data and sending this outside India, said people familiar to the matter in a report by Hindustan Times. The list of applications includes popular tools that are used by lots of people in the country.
As per the report, a senior government official also said that the recommendations of the intelligence agencies against these Chinese apps had been supported by the National Security Council Secretariat, which felt that the apps could be detrimental to the country’s security. “The discussions on the recommendations are continuing,” said an official, adding that the risks associated with each of the 52 Chinese apps will have to be examined one by one before such a measure can be implemented.