What will be the impact of Chinese app ban?

What will be the impact of Chinese app ban?

The government banned 59 Chinese mobile applications, including top social media platforms such as TikTok, Helo and WeChat, to counter the threat posed by these applications to the country’s “sovereignty and security,” it said in a press release late on Monday. ShareIT, UC browser and shopping app Clubfactory are among the other prominent apps that have been blocked amid rising tensions between India and China following clashes at the border two weeks ago.

The government said the applications are engaged in activities “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.” 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, it said. The govt also cited complaints about data on Indian users being transferred abroad without authorisations.

The move could come as a blow to China’s Digital Silk Route ambitions, eroding the valuation of the companies. It could also lead to more countries following India’s cue and acting against these apps, sources told ET.

A top official said the government had considered all aspects before taking the decision. “These apps have been there for a long time, and there are some privacy and security issues with them including risks of data going out of the country,” said the person.

The statement from the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) said it had received complaints from various sources, including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers outside India.
Ban Recommended by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)
“The compilation of the 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. “There have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians. It has been noted recently that such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of our country.”

The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, part of the MHA, has sent an “exhaustive recommendation for blocking the malicious apps,” the press release said.
The Internet Freedom Foundation said, “This is not a legal order issued under Section 69A. Our first ask is transparency and disclosure.” The activist group tweeted such cases needed to be considered individually and not in the aggregate.

“There is legitimacy in concerns of data security and citizens’ privacy,” it said. “This may be achieved through regulatory processes that emerge from objective, evidence based measures. This ensures credible action that protects individual liberty, innovation & security interests.”

Spokespeople for ByteDance, the owners of TikTok and Helo, and Alibaba, which owns UC Browser, said they could not comment immediately.

‘WELCOME MOVE
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. This is the opportunity for Bolo Indya and other Indian apps to deliver value, keeping Indian culture and data security at the highest priority,” said its co-founder and CEO Varun Saxena.

‘LEGALLY SOUND’
Analysts said the move will impact the Chinese apps.

“From a tactical perspective, it puts enormous economic pressure because these apps were heavily reliant on Indian markets. From a legal perspective, it is sound because grounds like national security are difficult to challenge in a court of law,” said Santosh Pai, partner at Link Legal, who tracks Chinese investments in the country. “If this is going to be the new state of affairs, we need to see whether Indian apps will fulfil the need or American apps will take market share.”

Investors in Indian social apps say that competition will come down due to the ban on Chinese apps.

“The competitive threat will go down. But a lot of apps in India are inspired by the deft engineering of Chinese apps. Overall the ecosystem’s ingenuity will slow down,” said Deepak Gupta, founding partner at WEH Ventures, which has invested in Indian video blogging platform Trell.

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Here’s the complete list of the apps banned:

  1. TikTok
  2. Shareit
  3. Kwai
  4. UC Browser
  5. Baidu map
  6. Shein
  7. Clash of Kings
  8. DU battery saver
  9. Helo
  10. Likee
  11. YouCam makeup
  12. Mi Community
  13. CM Browers
  14. Virus Cleaner
  15. APUS Browser
  16. ROMWE
  17. Club Factory
  18. Newsdog
  19. Beutry Plus
  20. WeChat
  21. UC News
  22. QQ Mail
  23. Weibo
  24. Xender
  25. QQ Music
  26. QQ Newsfeed
  27. Bigo Live
  28. SelfieCity
  29. Mail Master
  30. Parallel Space
  31. Mi Video Call – Xiaomi
  32. WeSync
  33. ES File Explorer
  34. Viva Video – QU Video Inc
  35. Meitu
  36. Vigo Video
  37. New Video Status
  38. DU Recorder
  39. Vault- Hide
  40. Cache Cleaner DU App studio
  41. DU Cleaner
  42. DU Browser
  43. Hago Play With New Friends
  44. Cam Scanner
  45. Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile
  46. Wonder Camera
  47. Photo Wonder
  48. QQ Player
  49. We Meet
  50. Sweet Selfie
  51. Baidu Translate
  52. Vmate
  53. QQ International
  54. QQ Security Center
  55. QQ Launcher
  56. U Video
  57. V fly Status Video
  58. Mobile Legends
  59. DU Privacy


Nikhil Singh

Nikhil Singh

Myself Nikhil singh and I like to play handball.

Nikhil Singh

Myself Nikhil singh and I like to play handball.

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