Amid tension with China following the clashes at Ladakh, India’s digital strike is a “befitting response” to China as the centre has now reportedly blocked 59 apps with Chinese links. These 59 Chinese apps have been banned by the Government of India as they “are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order”.
Among these Chinese linked apps, TikTok is an extremely popular app that has also been banned along with WeChat and UC Browser. Sources from intelligence agencies have said that these apps have constantly violated the terms of usage and has also compromised with the safety and privacy of users of these apps. These apps have been reported to be used as spyware or malware. Currently, TikTok has been disabled.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said a day ago that India has given China a much needed “befitting response”. This unprecedented step by the Indian government has come after the Prime Minister called for a countrywide boycott of Chinese goods as he spoke about “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” campaign. This campaign urges citizens of India to “buy local” and be “vocal for local”.
The list of 59 mobile apps which to be banned and are of Chinese origin include TikTok, SHAREit, UC Browser, Baidu map, Helo, Mi Community, Club Factory, WeChat, UC News, Weibo, Xender, Meitu, Mi Video Call – Xiaomi, CamScanner, and Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile.
This ban will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This is the targeted move that will ensure the “safety and sovereignty” of Indian cyberspace. It is reported that the Ministry of Information technology had received many complaints from many said sources the talk about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms.
These apps have been stealing and transmitting information of users in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside of India. 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 such complaints from citizens regarding security breach and privacy of data being compromised.
The development of this unprecedented move has come due to the enormous spike in tensions along the 3488-kilometre long defacto border with China. The Galwan Valley clash has sped up this strict action against China. The Indian and Chinese troops have been engaged in a tensed situation along the LAC For about two months now.