The government on Tuesday banned another 43 Chinese mobile apps, which include Alibaba Workbench and CamCard, among others, by invoking Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, which empowers it to block apps/contents engaging in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of the country, its defence, security of state and public order. “Ministry of electronics and IT has issued the order for blocking the access of these apps by users in India based on the comprehensive reports received from Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, ministry of home affairs,” a government statement said.
This is the fourth instance of the government banning Chinese apps since the India-China border standoff erupted. The government had first banned 59 apps, including TikTok and WeChat, on June 29, followed by another set of 47 apps in July, which were proxies of the banned apps. On September 2, it had again banned 118 Chinese mobile apps, which included the popular gaming platform PUBG as well as Baidu, which is China’s largest search engine provider.
In the past, MeitY has said it has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India.