NEW DELHI: The government of India has decided to block 59 smartphone apps in the country. These include popular China-linked apps like TikTok, SHAREit, Mi Video Call, UC Browser and others. “The Ministry of Information Technology, invoked 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,” as per an official statement.
Although the orders have been issued today, it may take some time for the app and play stores to act on them. And those who have already downloaded will also not be able to use as they will all be deactivated.
“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 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,” it said.
The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs, has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps.
“The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) has also received many representations from citizens regarding security of data and breach of privacy impacting upon public order issues. Likewise, there have been similar bipartisan concerns, flagged by various public representatives, both outside and inside the Parliament of India. There has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against Apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens,” it added.
List of 59 apps banned by government of India:
TikTok Shareit Kwai UC Browser Baidu map Shein Clash of Kings DU battery saver Helo Likee YouCam makeup Mi Community CM Browers Virus Cleaner APUS Browser ROMWE Club Factory Newsdog Beutry Plus WeChat UC News QQ Mail Weibo Xender QQ Music QQ Newsfeed Bigo Live SelfieCity Mail Master Parallel Space Mi Video Call – Xiaomi WeSync ES File Explorer Viva Video – QU Video Inc Meitu Vigo Video New Video Status DU Recorder Vault- Hide Cache Cleaner DU App studio DU Cleaner DU Browser Hago Play With New Friends Cam Scanner Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile Wonder Camera Photo Wonder QQ Player We Meet Sweet Selfie Baidu Translate Vmate QQ International QQ Security Center QQ Launcher U Video V fly Status Video Mobile Legends DU Privacy