India on Wednesday banned another 118 Chinese-made apps, including Tencent’s popular video game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, as border tensions between the two nations continue to escalate.
Details: The Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology announced it had decided to block 118 apps that it said were prejudicial to India’s sovereignty, integrity, and national security, the ministry said Wednesday in a statement.
- The newly banned apps include Chinese search engine giant Baidu’s two mobile search apps, smartphone maker Xiaomi’s Sharesave, Ant Group’s mobile payment apps Alipay and Alipay HK, as well as Tencent’s cloud-storage app Weiyuan and Wechat Work. Tencent’s Wechat was banned in a similar crackdown on Chinese apps in June.
- Tencent’s PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds had more than 50 million players in India as of April 2019, local media reported.
- The ministry said it had received many complaints about these apps for “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.”
- “This move will safeguard the interests of [tens of millions] of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace,” the ministry said in the statement.
Context: The ban follows a standoff between Indian and Chinese troops earlier this week and media reports that a Chinese land mine killed an Indian soldier during the confrontation.
- In June, India banned 59 Chinese apps on national security concerns following a deadly border clash with China.