NEW DELHI: The Government of India on Tuesday banned 43 Chinese apps including Alibaba Group Holding’s AliExpress. The fresh ban is only the latest in a series of blocks India has placed on mobile applications originating from its northern neighbour for national security reasons.
The GoI statement had said that the goal was to “protect the sovereignty and integrity of India and safeguard its cybersecurity.”
“Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India today issued an order under section 69A of the Information Technology Act blocking access to 43 mobile apps. This action was taken based on the inputs regarding these apps for engaging in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order,” said India’s IT ministry.
The fresh order, like the earlier ones, comes amidst growing border tensions between Indian and Chinese forces. Earlier on June 29, 2020, the Government of India had blocked access to 59 mobile apps, including popular video app Tiktok, and on September 2, 2020, extended the ban to 118 more apps, including Tencent-marketed PubG.
Cyber security experts and Indian app developers welcomed the government’s move. Aditya Narang, Co-founder & MD, SafeHouse Technologies said, “It takes several security-sensitive and intrusive permissions which the user doesn’t understand but ends up agreeing to. As the threat to secure user data is increasing, users must make sure their mobile phones are protected, secured and encrypted.” Kapil Jain, Founder and MD of Graphitto Labs, pointed out, “Banning Jack Ma’s AliExpress is a major dent on Chinese aspiration to exploit Indian e-commerce market and simultaneously offer Indian e-commerce Companies to offer better application and competitive offerings.”
Banned Chinese app list grows
The latest list of banned apps include AliSuppliers Mobile App, Alibaba Workbench, and Alipay Cashier
The ban also covers several dating apps such as WeDate, Chinese Social, TrulyChinese, ChinaLove, DateMyAge, FlirtWish and Guys Only Dating
Earlier on June 29, India had blocked access to 59 mobile apps including TikTok