On the 24th of November, the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology blocked access to forty-three more Chinese origin mobile apps fo
On the 24th of November, the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology blocked access to forty-three more Chinese origin mobile apps for its citizens. With this new move, the count for the total number of banned Chinese origin has climbed to 267. These web sanctions by the Government of India are said to be a digital strike against the all-weather ally of Pakistan – sending it a stern message that India won’t compromise with its national security. Out of the recently banned apps, the majority were owned by AliBaba. This move has been seen by many as indirectly targeting the richest man in the People’s Republic of China who also turned out to be a member of the ruling Communist Party of China – Jack Ma’s company, AliBaba. The mobile apps have been banned by the IT Ministry under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act. Calling this move a necessity, the government stated that this move was taken in the interest of the nations’ security, sovereignty, and integrity. These Chinese apps were accused by the Indian Government of engaging in activities that were detrimental to the integrity and sovereignty of the nation. The government added that such malicious apps were not only pernicious to the defence of India but also baleful for the security of the state and public if allowed prolonged access to the Indian Market.
The freshly banned mobile apps include online shopping AliExpress, business card reader CamCard and video sharing Smack Video, truck and driver aggregator Lalamove, and live streaming channel Taobao Live among others. India, in its masterstroke of killing two birds with one stone, has not only taken away one of the biggest markets but has also been successful in persuading countries like the USA to join the suit. Countries like India and the USA are one of the biggest and most profitable markets for Chinese apps in terms of revenue due to population and purchasing power.
India started launching a series of digital strikes against the Chinese apps at the beginning of the Ladakh standoff. The third ban over the mobile apps came as the tensions cease to boil down between the two Asian giants.
Amidst the strained relations between the countries, India is leaving no stone unturned to influence the clout that these apps have over the Indian market. As these apps have been arraigned on charges of collecting and misusing the personal data of Indian Citizens and businesses in the past, the government decided to hit while the iron is hot.
The banned apps have joined the league of top shot Chinese apps like TikTok and PUBG which were previously banned by the government. According to the ministry spokesperson, the order to ban the 43 mobile apps was taken out as per the extensive reports presented by the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs.
Around 59 mobile apps were blocked by the government on the 29th of June in the first round of the digital bans followed by a second round on the 2nd of September where 118 more Chinese origin apps were banned.