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Ban On The Chinese Apps

The Indian government in the wake of the on-going tensions between India and China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladhak banned 59 Chinese apps. According to the Ministry of Information Technology (Meity) these applications are engaged in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.� The ban has been imposed under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on 29th June, 2020 banned 59 Chinese mobile applications amid to national security. The relations between the two countries have been strained following the deaths of 20 Indian troops in a stand-off in Ladakh's Galwan Valley on June 15.

The ban was imposed after the Indian intelligence agencies red flagged these Chinese apps over safety and privacy issues of users, marking it as the largest stroke against the Chinese Technology Companies. The National Security Council Secretariat which determined that certain China-linked applications could be detrimental to the country's security backed the intelligence agencies.

The Ban
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 unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India. These apps are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.

These measures have been undertaken since there is credible information hence the decision has been taken in a bid to safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile users.
The ban includes all the applications that have some preferential Chinese interest and the majority has parent Chinese companies. The banned applications like SHAREit, UC Browser and WeChat which enjoy highly popularity in India, including Byte Dance-owned video-sharing app TikTok, with a combined user base of more than half a billion. There are estimated to be about 120 million TikTok users in India, making the South Asian nation of 1.3 billion people the app's biggest international market.

Chinese mobiles have an almost 65 per cent share in the local smartphone market. Indian intelligence agencies had been trying to restrict the mobile applications on grounds that the apps were designed to extract data and park them outside the country, where at a later stage they could be used to intrude into the privacy of Indian citizens. The few of the Chinese apps banned are: TikTok, Shareit, UC Browser, WeChat etc.

Response To The Ban
The ban was welcomed by open hands and has been taken as a fruitful step towards Make in India policy. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said, This huge unprecedented step will go a long way in strengthening the �Boycott China' campaign of CAIT. Boycott China movement is now well and truly a national reality and seven crore traders of India stands in solidarity with the Union Government,� CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said in a statement.

ShareChat Director Public Policy Berges Malu the company expects the government to continue their support for the Indian startup ecosystem. This step can prove to be a golden moment in Indian startup journey with �Made in India' apps getting a rare opportunity to onboard those users and provide them with these services. Indian technology ecosystem has come a long way in last 5-6 years and are at par with the capabilities of any other startup ecosystem in the world. We welcome this move and we hope Indians will choose apps which are made in India, for India,� said Piyush, CEO and founder, Rooter, Delhi-based gaming and Sport Live app.

InMobi, the ad tech company that owns Roposo, a video app that competes with TikTok, said the move would open up the market for its platform while ShareChat, the Indian social network, welcomed the government's move. Bolo Indya, a rival to TikTok, says it will benefit from the ban on its larger rival. We welcome the decision as we resonate the concerns raised by the government. The ban has become a huge opportunity for all the domestic applications and companies.

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