India permanently bans 59 Chinese apps: Completed list, Reasons, Impacts on Indian users and companies
Photo: Economictimes

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), in new notices to the apps last week, has said their answers and clarifications following the ban were found to be inadequate. As a result, the temporary block has now been made permanent, Economictimes reported.

The government had banned 59 Chinese apps in June last year referring to them as being “prejudicial” to India’s sovereignty, integrity and national security. The list included TikTok, Helo, We Chat, Alibaba’s UC Browser and UC News, Shein, Club Factory, Likee, Bigo Live, Kwai, Clash of Kings and Cam Scanner besides others.

The apps were blocked under section 69 A of the Information Technology Act and relevant provisions under IT rules 2009.

On September 2, the government had banned 118 more apps and in November it blocked 43 new Chinese mobile apps in the country, including shopping website AliExpress. The list of banned Chinese apps so far also includes PUBG Mobile, Snack Video, Cam Card, WeWorkChina and WeDate.

An official familiar with the matter said the decision to impose a permanent ban is aimed at the 59 Chinese apps for now.

According to the statement shared by Tiktok, the company is evaluating the notice. "We are evaluating the notice and will respond to it as appropriate. TikTok was among the first companies to comply with the Government of India directive issued on June 29, 2020. We continually strive to comply with local laws and regulations and do our best to address any concerns the government may have. Ensuring the privacy and security of all our users remains to be our topmost priority," says a TikTok spokesperson.

Why Indian government bans 59 Chinese Apps?

India permanently bans 59 Chinese apps: Completed list, Reasons, Impacts on Indian users and companies

Photo: DNA India

These measures have been undertaken since there is credible information that these apps are engaged in activities that are prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order. The decision has been taken in a bid to safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile users, said India.com.

“There have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians. It has been noted recently that such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of our country,” said the government.

Notably, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had received 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.

“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 issued by the ministry read.

The ban comes days after Indian intelligence agencies red flagged these Chinese apps over safety and privacy issues of users. The government needs to either block access to these apps or advise people to stop their use, according to the intel inputs, said the agencies.

The recommendations of the intelligence agencies have backing of the National Security Council Secretariat which determined that certain China-linked applications could be detrimental to the country’s security, said the report citing an unnamed government official.

India permanently bans 59 Chinese apps: Completed list, Reasons, Impacts on Indian users and companies
Photo: AP

How the ban will affect Indian users?

Some apps on the banned list are widely popular among Indians. TikTok (one of the banned apps) has more than 100 million active users in India. TikTok was the only source of income for many users.

Besides, many of these apps such as UC News and others have offices and employees in India, hence following the ban, scores of jobs could be at stake.

How the ban may impact TikTok and other companies?

The ban significantly narrows a top growth market for Chinese technology firms and may embolden other governments to shut them out.

For Beijing-based ByteDance, India has been the biggest driver of TikTok installs, accounting for 611 million downloads, or 30% of the total, according to SensorTower. Cutting off new users, and existing ones as they try to install updates, will sting its mooted valuation of $110 billion.

The company faces a similar backlash in the United States where lawmakers are also suspicious about Beijing’s access to consumer data.

*Also Read: Top 10 safest dating apps in 2021

What are the alternatives and are they easy to find?

Users of banned browsers or video apps may find it easier to shift to similar offerings from elsewhere. Chingari, a competitor from India to TikTok, saw its downloads soar from 1 lakh to 1 crore-plus on Google Play Store soon after the ban on Chinese apps was announced.

Users of some apps such as CamScanner may not be able to shift so easily. For example, it is not clear yet how say a pdf, or portable document format, created by a user via CamScanner a couple of years ago and backed up in Google Drive, could be transferred to another app such as the Adobe Scan or Microsoft Office Lens, unless individually downloaded and re-uploaded.

There are some alternative products such as the India-made Zoho Doc Scanner, which does offer users the option to import all files en masse from CamScanner.

Complete list of 267 Chinese apps banned in India (Source: Indiatvnews)

  1. TikTok
  2. Shareit
  3. Kwai
  4. UC Browser
  5. Baidu map
  6. Shein
  7. Clash of Kings
  8. DU battery saver
  9. Helo
  10. Likee
  11. YouCam makeup
  12. Mi Community
  13. CM Browers
  14. Virus Cleaner
  15. APUS Browser
  16. ROMWE
  17. Club Factory
  18. Newsdog
  19. Beutry Plus
  20. WeChat
  21. UC News
  22. QQ Mail
  23. Weibo
  24. Xender
  25. QQ Music
  26. QQ Newsfeed
  27. Bigo Live
  28. SelfieCity
  29. Mail Master
  30. Parallel Space
  31. Mi Video Call–Xiaomi
  32. WeSync
  33. ES File Explorer
  34. Viva Video–QU Video Inc
  35. Meitu
  36. Vigo Video
  37. APUS Launcher Pro- Theme, Live Wallpapers, Smart
  38. APUS Launcher -Theme, Call Show, Wallpaper, HideApps
  39. APUS Security -Antivirus, Phone security, Cleaner
  40. APUS Turbo Cleaner 2020- Junk Cleaner, Anti-Virus
  41. APUS Flashlight-Free & Bright
  42. Cut Cut – Cut Out & Photo Background Editor
  43. Baidu
  44. Baidu Express Edition
  45. FaceU - Inspire your Beauty
  46. ShareSave by Xiaomi: Latest gadgets, amazing deals
  47. CamCard - Business Card Reader
  48. CamCard Business
  49. CamCard for Salesforce
  50. CamOCR
  51. InNote
  52. VooV Meeting - Tencent Video Conferencing
  53. Super Clean - Master of Cleaner, Phone Booster
  54. WeChat reading
  55. Government WeChat
  56. Small Q brush
  57. Tencent Weiyun
  58. Pitu
  59. WeChat Work
  60. Cyber Hunter
  61. Cyber Hunter Lite
  62. Knives Out-No rules, just fight!
  63. Super Mecha Champions
  64. LifeAfter
  65. Dawn of Isles
  66. Ludo World-Ludo Superstar
  67. Chess Rush
  68. PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik
  69. PUBG MOBILE LITE
  70. Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
  71. Art of Conquest: Dark Horizon
  72. Dank Tanks
  73. Warpath
  74. Game of Sultans
  75. Gallery Vault - Hide Pictures And Videos
  76. Smart AppLock (App Protect)
  77. Message Lock (SMS Lock)-Gallery Vault Developer Team
  78. Hide App-Hide Application Icon
  79. AppLock
  80. AppLock Lite
  81. Dual Space - Multiple Accounts & App Cloner
  82. ZAKZAK Pro - Live chat & video chat online
  83. ZAKZAK LIVE: live-streaming & video chat app
  84. Music - Mp3 Player
  85. Music Player - Audio Player & 10 Bands Equalizer
  86. HD Camera Selfie Beauty Camera
  87. Cleaner - Phone Booster
  88. Web Browser & Fast Explorer
  89. Video Player All Format for Android
  90. Photo Gallery HD & Editor
  91. Photo Gallery & Album
  92. Music Player - Bass Booster - Free Download
  93. HD Camera - Beauty Cam with Filters & Panorama
  94. HD Camera Pro & Selfie Camera
  95. Music Player - MP3 Player & 10 Bands Equalizer
  96. Gallery HD
  97. Web Browser - Fast, Privacy & Light Web Explorer
  98. Web Browser - Secure Explorer
  99. Music player - Audio Player
  100. Video Player - All Format HD Video Player
  101. Lamour Love All Over The World
  102. Amour- video chat & call all over the world.
  103. MV Master - Make Your Status Video & Community
  104. MV Master - Best Video Maker & Photo Video Editor
  105. APUS Message Center-Intelligent management
  106. LivU Meet new people & Video chat with strangers
  107. Carrom Friends : Carrom Board & Pool Game-
  108. Ludo All Star- Play Online Ludo Game & Board Games
  109. Bike Racing : Moto Traffic Rider Bike Racing Games
  110. Rangers Of Oblivion : Online Action MMO RPG Game
  111. Z Camera - Photo Editor, Beauty Selfie, Collage
  112. GO SMS Pro - Messenger, Free Themes, Emoji
  113. U-Dictionary: Oxford Dictionary Free Now Translate
  114. Ulike - Define your selfie in trendy style
  115. Tantan - Date For Real
  116. MICO Chat: New Friends Banaen aur Live Chat karen
  117. Kitty Live - Live Streaming & Video Live Chat
  118. Malay Social Dating App to Date & Meet Singles
  119. Alipay
  120. AlipayHK
  121. Mobile Taobao
  122. Youku
  123. Road of Kings- Endless Glory
  124. Sina News
  125. Netease News
  126. Penguin FM
  127. Murderous Pursuits
  128. Tencent Watchlist (Tencent Technology
  129. Learn Chinese AI-Super Chinese
  130. HUYA LIVE – Game Live Stream
  131. Little Q Album
  132. Fighting Landlords - Free and happy Fighting Landlords
  133. Hi Meitu
  134. Mobile Legends: Pocket
  135. VPN for TikTok
  136. VPN for TikTok
  137. Penguin E-sports Live assistant
  138. Buy Cars-offer everything you need, special offers and low prices
  139. iPick
  140. Beauty Camera Plus - Sweet Camera & Face Selfie
  141. Parallel Space Lite - Dual App
  142. "Chief Almighty: First Thunder BC
  143. MARVEL Super War NetEase Games
  144. AFK Arena
  145. Creative Destruction NetEase Games
  146. Crusaders of Light NetEase Games
  147. Mafia City Yotta Games
  148. Onmyoji NetEase Games
  149. Ride Out Heroes NetEase Games
  150. Yimeng Jianghu-Chu Liuxiang has been fully upgraded
  151. Legend: Rising Empire NetEase Games
  152. Arena of Valor: 5v5 Arena Games
  153. Soul Hunters
  154. Rules of Survival
  155. New Video Status
  156. DU Recorder
  157. Vault- Hide
  158. Cache Cleaner-DU App studio
  159. DU Cleaner
  160. DU Browser
  161. Hago Play With New Friends
  162. Cam Scanner
  163. Clean Master– Cheetah Mobile
  164. Wonder Camera
  165. Photo wonder
  166. We Meet
  167. Sweet Selfie
  168. Baidu Translate
  169. Vmate
  170. QQ International
  171. QQ Security Center
  172. QQ Launcher
  173. U Video
  174. V fly Status Video
  175. Mobile Legends
  176. DU Privacy
  177. AliSuppliers Mobile App
  178. Alibaba Workbench
  179. AliExpress - Smarter Shopping, Better Living
  180. Alipay Cashier
  181. Lalamove India - Delivery App
  182. Drive with Lalamove India
  183. Snack Video
  184. CamCard - Business Card Reader
  185. CamCard - BCR (Western)
  186. Soul- Follow the soul to find you
  187. Chinese Social - Free Online Dating Video App & Chat
  188. Date in Asia - Dating & Chat For Asian Singles
  189. We Date-Dating App
  190. Free dating app- Singol, start your date!
  191. Adore App
  192. TrulyChinese - Chinese Dating App
  193. TrulyAsian - Asian Dating App
  194. ChinaLove: dating app for Chinese singles
  195. DateMyAge: Chat, Meet, Date Mature Singles Online
  196. AsianDate: find Asian singles
  197. FlirtWish: chat with singles
  198. Guys Only Dating: Gay Chat
  199. Tubit: Live Streams
  200. We Work China
  201. First Love Live- super hot live beauties live online
  202. Rela - Lesbian Social Network
  203. Cashier Wallet
  204. MangoTV
  205. MGTV- HunanTV official TV APP
  206. WeTV - TV version
  207. WeTV - Cdrama, Kdrama&More
  208. WeTV Lite
  209. Lucky Live- Live Video Streaming App
  210. Taobao Live
  211. DingTalk
  212. Identity V
  213. Isoland 2: Ashes of Time
  214. BoxStar (Early Access)
  215. Heroes Evolved
  216. Happy Fish
  217. Jellipop Match- Decorate your dream island!
  218. Munchkin Match: magic home building
  219. Conquista Online II

Note: Even though the government has banned 267 apps in India, the list above only includes 219 of them. This is because the government did not share the 47 clone versions of 59 apps that it banned earlier.

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