Ban On The Chinese Apps
The Indian government in the wake of the on-going tensions between India and
China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladhak banned 59 Chinese apps.
According to the Ministry of Information Technology (Meity) these applications
are engaged in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India,
defence of India, security of state and public order.Ł The ban has been
imposed under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with relevant
provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking
of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on 29th June,
2020 banned 59 Chinese mobile applications amid to national security. The
relations between the two countries have been strained following the deaths of
20 Indian troops in a stand-off in Ladakh's Galwan Valley on June 15.
The ban was imposed after the Indian intelligence agencies red flagged these
Chinese apps over safety and privacy issues of users, marking it as the largest
stroke against the Chinese Technology Companies. The National Security Council
Secretariat which determined that certain China-linked applications could be
detrimental to the country's security backed the intelligence agencies.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had received
complaints from various sources including several reports about misuse of some
mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and
surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an unauthorized manner to servers
which have locations outside India. These apps are engaged in activities which
are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India,
security of state and public order.
These measures have been undertaken since there is credible information hence
the decision has been taken in a bid to safeguard the interests of crores of
Indian mobile users.
The ban includes all the applications that have some preferential Chinese
interest and the majority has parent Chinese companies. The banned applications
like SHAREit, UC Browser and WeChat which enjoy highly popularity in India,
including Byte Dance-owned video-sharing app TikTok, with a combined user base
of more than half a billion. There are estimated to be about 120 million TikTok
users in India, making the South Asian nation of 1.3 billion people the app's
biggest international market.
Chinese mobiles have an almost 65 per cent share in the local smartphone market.
Indian intelligence agencies had been trying to restrict the mobile applications
on grounds that the apps were designed to extract data and park them outside the
country, where at a later stage they could be used to intrude into the privacy
of Indian citizens. The few of the Chinese apps banned are: TikTok, Shareit, UC
Browser, WeChat etc.
Response To The Ban
The ban was welcomed by open hands and has been taken as a fruitful step towards
Make in India policy. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said, This
huge unprecedented step will go a long way in strengthening the śBoycott China'
campaign of CAIT. Boycott China movement is now well and truly a national
reality and seven crore traders of India stands in solidarity with the Union
Government,Ł CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said in a statement.
ShareChat Director Public Policy Berges Malu the company expects the government
to continue their support for the Indian startup ecosystem. This step can prove
to be a golden moment in Indian startup journey with śMade in India' apps
getting a rare opportunity to onboard those users and provide them with these
services. Indian technology ecosystem has come a long way in last 5-6 years and
are at par with the capabilities of any other startup ecosystem in the world. We
welcome this move and we hope Indians will choose apps which are made in India,
for India,Ł said Piyush, CEO and founder, Rooter, Delhi-based gaming and Sport
InMobi, the ad tech company that owns Roposo, a video app that competes with
TikTok, said the move would open up the market for its platform while ShareChat,
the Indian social network, welcomed the government's move. Bolo Indya, a rival
to TikTok, says it will benefit from the ban on its larger rival. We welcome the
decision as we resonate the concerns raised by the government. The ban has
become a huge opportunity for all the domestic applications and companies.
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