In a strong posturing amid the ongoing standoff with China, Indian government today blocked as many as 59 popular Chinese apps including the video sharing app TikTok.
Other applications that have been blocked include Baidu Map, Helo, Likee, Mi Community, YouCam makeup, We Chat, Weibo, Xender, QQ Music, QQ Newsfeed, Virus Cleaner, APUS browsers, Newsdog, UC News, BigoLive, SelfieCity among others.
Informing about the decision, a release from the Government of India said, “The Ministry of Information Technology, invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 59 apps ( see Appendix) since in view of information available they are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”
Citing raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians, the ministry highlighted that such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of our country.
“The Ministry of Information Technology has received many 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. 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 release read.