India has banned another 118 mostly Chinese mobile apps including Tencent Holdings Ltd's popular videogame PUBG, citing data security concerns on Wednesday.
In June, India banned 59 mobile apps including Bytedance's TikTok, Alibaba's UC Browser and Tencent's WeChat, also citing security concerns.
The apps were banned citing concerns of data security after fresh tensions between India and China in the border area in eastern Ladakh.
A total of 118 apps have been banned by the ministry of information and technology, according to an official statement. The banned mobile applications are prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity, defence of India and public order, the ministry said.
The banned apps include Baidu, Baidu Express Edition, Tencent Watchlist, FaceU, WeChat Reading and Tencent Weiyun, besides PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite, the statement read.
The ministry of electronics and information technology received several complaints from various sources, including reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on the Android and iOS platforms. The complaints alleged stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which possibly had 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,” the statement said.
The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Center, under the Ministry of Home Affairs also sent a recommendation for blocking these controversial apps. In the public domain too, there has been a strong demand for some time to take strict action against mobile applications that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of citizens.
Earlier in June, the Center had banned 59, mostly Chinese, mobile applications such as TikTok, UC Browser and WeChat, citing concerns that these are ‘prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order’.