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India bans 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok and WeChat

Person using smartphone photo app. (PxHere/Released)
June 29, 2020

India has banned dozens of apps linked to Chinese developers in the aftermath of a deadly border clash between Chinese and Indian troops.

India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology confirmed the ban of 59 Chinese apps in a Monday press release. “In view of information available they are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order,” the Indian agency stated.

The Indian agency cited concerns that the apps are being used to steal user information.

“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,” the Indian press release stated. “The Ministry of Information Technology 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 unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.”

The Indian press release did not name China directly, but it’s list of banned apps include the popular video-sharing app TikTok, as well as the Chinese messaging app WeChat and the UC Browser were among the list of apps blocked in India.

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The ban on the Chinese apps comes after a June 15 border brawl in the Ladakh region of the Himalayas, details of which has been disputed by China and India. The Indian military stated that 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the brawl. No shots were reported in the fight, and Chinese and Indian troops instead fought hand-to-hand for several hours following a breakdown in diplomatic communications between the two opposing forces.

Concerns about Indian information security have heightened since the violent border clash. Indian cybersecurity agencies reported more than 40,000 cyber attacks on Indian information and financial websites in the days following the brawl. India indicated the majority of the cyber attacks originated from Chinese city of Chengdu, where the headquarter city for People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Unit 61398, which is associated with cyber warfare.

The cyberattacks included distributed denial of service (DDOS) efforts to flood websites with traffic and cause them to crash, as well as “phishing” attempts to steal information.

The U.S. has shown its own concern about Chinese apps like TikTok and various U.S. military branches have implemented bans on the app.

The full list of apps banned by China includes:

  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. New Video Status
  38. DU Recorder
  39. Vault- Hide
  40. Cache Cleaner DU App studio
  41. DU Cleaner
  42. DU Browser
  43. Hago Play With New Friends
  44. Cam Scanner
  45. Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile
  46. Wonder Camera
  47. Photo Wonder
  48. QQ Player
  49. We Meet
  50. Sweet Selfie
  51. Baidu Translate
  52. Vmate
  53. QQ International
  54. QQ Security Center
  55. QQ Launcher
  56. U Video
  57. V fly Status Video
  58. Mobile Legends
  59. DU Privacy