The Centre on Monday banned 59 apps with Chinese links, including TikTok and UC Browser, saying they were prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and security of the country. India's former Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin reacting to the decision said that he does not use any of the Apps listed by the IT Ministry, so he was "trying to make sense" of their importance.
The former diplomat shared a chart by Matt Sheehan of think tank MacroPolo of the top 10 non-gaming apps downloaded in India. Akbaruddin said that the chart helped "clarify the situation." The chart shows that out of the top 10 apps, six were of Chinese origin. Those apps were TikTok, Likee, Helo, SHAREit, UC Browser and VMate.
Making sense.— Syed Akbaruddin (@AkbaruddinIndia) June 30, 2020
Since I don’t use any of the Apps listed in @GoI_MeitY list of 59 blocked yesterday, I was trying to make sense of their importance..
This chart by @mattsheehan88 of the top 10 non gaming Apps downloaded in 2019 in India helped clarify the situation. pic.twitter.com/LqAMJE2vde
Currently, TikTok app has been removed from Apple's App Store and Google Play Store.
Tik Tok removed from Apple's App Store & Google Play Store. Government of India yesterday banned 59 apps "which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the state and public order”. pic.twitter.com/f2LtyqXTtN— ANI (@ANI) June 30, 2020
The ban on the Chinese apps comes in the backdrop of current stand-off along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh with Chinese troops.
The list of apps that have been banned also includes WeChat, Helo, Likee, CamScanner, Vigo Video, Mi Video Call Xiaomi, Clash of Kings as well as e-commerce platforms Club Factory and Shein.
The Information Technology Ministry in a statement said it has received many complaints from various sources, including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for "stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India".
"The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures," the statement said.
A formal order asking phone companies to block the applications is being issued. The move will "safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace", the IT ministry added.
(with PTI inputs)