All the 59 banned Chinese applications by Indian government have been removed from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store for India. The applications banned by the government include Club Factory, SHAREit, Likee, Mi Video Call (Xiaomi), Weibo, Baidu and Bigo Live.
Meanwhile TikTok on Tuesday said it is in the process of complying with the government’s order on blocking of the app, and asserted that it has not shared information of Indian users with any foreign government, including that of China. Its India Head Nikhil Gandhi claimed that TikTok continues to comply with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law and has not shared any information of our users in India with any foreign government, including the Chinese government. We have been invited to meet with concerned government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit clarifications,” Nikhil Gandhi said.
The information technology ministry, which issued Monday evening’s ban order, had cited concerns that the 59 applications are ‘prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order’.
The IT ministry statement did not identify the 59 applications to be linked to China. But government officials have pointed that the China connection was one common factor between most of the applications that had been ordered to be blocked.
Monday’s order came against the backdrop of heightened tensions between India and China over the border dispute in Ladakh that led to the deadly June 15 confrontation in Galwan Valley. Sources said Home Minister Amit Shah has powered the decision that had been under discussion for weeks within the bureaucracy.
The National Security Council Secretariat, which had been involved in the deliberations after intelligence agencies raised a red flag over the applications, also backed the move.
“All these apps have been reported to have been leaking data. Their malpractices have also been singled out by experts. They have been said to take location data, transfer files to servers in China. Moreover, the beauty apps, such as beauty plus and selfie cameras have also been reported for being a threat as they contain pornographic content,” sources said.