India bans China-linked apps amid border standoff

NITI Aayog CEO Says Apps Should Adhere to India's Data Integrity Privacy Sovereignty and Transparency

Kant NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant

So given the multiple apps which are being banned, I have been going through the list and we already have multiple alternate apps available today.

India and China are witnessing a heightened faceoff along the border, known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC), in the Ladakh region of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir, in which 20 soldiers were killed earlier this month.

Chinese brands like Xiaomi and TikTok were traced to be tracking location and incognito search histories of their users in India using illegal means such as SIM-tapping; a high level official of India's Information and Technology department told Sputnik while justifying the decision of banning the app.

"China is strongly concerned", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian was quoted by ANI as saying.

Among the list of newly-banned apps, Alibaba's UC Browser, Meitu's Beauty Plus camera app and Bigo's Likee video editing app are among the top 100 most downloaded apps in India, according to app intelligence firm App Annie.

"The Indian government has the responsibility to protect the legitimate rights and interests of global investors in India, including Chinese businesses, in accordance with market principles", said spokesperson Zhao Lijian.

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

The apps are "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order", the ministry of information technology said.

China and India have long had a prickly relationship.

The Indian deaths triggered outrage on social media with calls to boycott Chinese products.

"There is too much of Chinese presence in the everyday life of the average Indian", said Alka Acharya, professor of Chinese Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

Jhaker noted that the IP addresses of these server-based banned apps will soon be in the blacklisted database, so that they become unusable in India.

He was due to address the nation again at 4:00 pm (1030 GMT) on Tuesday.

With Asia's third-biggest economy dealt a sucker punch by the coronavirus, the apps ban fits in with Modi's vision outlined in May of a "self-reliant India" able to produce all it needs at home. There have been calls for banning Chinese businesses, which reportedly export goods worth almost $60 billion to India.

Though the Chinese Foreign Ministry withheld any more comments, its mission here said the grounds for the banning of the 59 apps was "ambiguous and far-fetched", grated against the general trend of global trade and e-commerce and was not conducive to consumer interests and the market competition in India.

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