India bans scores of apps including many from China

24 November 2020, 15:24

An Indian army convoy moves on the Srinagar- Ladakh road at Gagangeer, northeast of Srinagar (Dar Yasin/AP)
India China. Picture: PA

The information technology ministry said they were a threat to the sovereignty and integrity of India.

India banned 43 mobile apps, including many from China, with which it is locked in a military standoff along their border in the Himalayas.

India’s information technology ministry said on Tuesday the apps threaten the “sovereignty and integrity of India”.

The banned apps include four from Chinese retail giant the Alibaba Group.

Tuesday’s move comes months after India banned scores of Chinese-owned apps, including popular short-video app TikTok and mobile game PUBG, saying it had received reports that they were “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data”.

China and India have been locked in a bitter border dispute for months in the remote Ladakh region.

The TikTok app on a smartphone (Peter Byrne/PA)
The TikTok app on a smartphone (Peter Byrne/PA)

The stand-off between the Asian giants erupted in early May into a fierce brawl, and then worsened on June 15 into hand-to-hand combat with soldiers using clubs, stones and fists, leaving 20 Indian troops dead.

China is believed to also have suffered casualties, but has not given any details.

The two sides have held several rounds of talks among military and diplomatic officials, but the stand-off has persisted.

India’s app bans have been hailed by governing party leaders as a way to curtail China’s growing influence.

Chinese-owned apps have found a fast-growing market in India, with some companies creating India-specific apps that have exploded in popularity.

By Press Association