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Thursday, July 25, 2024

118 Chinese apps, including PUBG, banned

Amidst the ongoing tense stand-off with China in Ladakh and rest of LAC, the Government has taken one more step to show China that it won’t be business as usual this time around. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India has blocked 118 Chinese mobile apps (see Appendix) deeming them ‘prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order’. This comes on top of the 59 Chinese apps like TikTok etc banned on 30 June.

As per a PIB press release

“The Ministry of Electronics and 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 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 Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps.. Likewise, there have been similar bipartisan concerns, flagged by various public representatives, both outside and inside the Parliament of India. There has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against Apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens.

On the basis of these and upon receiving of recent credible inputs that information posted, permissions sought, functionality embedded as well as data harvesting practices of above stated Apps raise serious concerns that these Apps collect and share data in surreptitious manner and compromise personal data and information of users that can have a severe threat to security of the State.

In the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India and security of the State. And using the sovereign powers, the Government of India has decided to block the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet enabled devices. These apps are listed in the attached appendix.

This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.


    1. APUS Launcher Pro- Theme, Live Wallpapers, Smart
    2. APUS Launcher -Theme, Call Show, Wallpaper, HideApps
    3. APUS Security -Antivirus, Phone security, Cleaner
    4. APUS Turbo Cleaner 2020- Junk Cleaner, Anti-Virus
    5. APUS Flashlight-Free & Bright
    6. Cut Cut – Cut Out & Photo Background Editor
    7. Baidu
    8. Baidu Express Edition
    9. FaceU – Inspire your Beauty
    10. ShareSave by Xiaomi: Latest gadgets, amazing deals
    11. CamCard – Business Card Reader
    12. CamCard Business
    13. CamCard for Salesforce
    14. CamOCR
    15. InNote
    16. VooV Meeting – Tencent Video Conferencing
    17. Super Clean – Master of Cleaner, Phone Booster
    18. WeChat reading
    19. Government WeChat
    20. Small Q brush
    21. Tencent Weiyun
    22. Pitu
    23. WeChat Work
    24. Cyber Hunter
    25. Cyber Hunter Lite
    26. Knives Out-No rules, just fight!
    27. Super Mecha Champions
    28. LifeAfter
    29. Dawn of Isles
    30. Ludo World-Ludo Superstar
    31. Chess Rush
    32. PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik
    34. Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
    35. Art of Conquest: Dark Horizon
    36. Dank Tanks
    37. Warpath
    38. Game of Sultans
    39. Gallery Vault – Hide Pictures And Videos
    40. Smart AppLock (App Protect)
    41. Message Lock (SMS Lock)-Gallery Vault Developer Team
    42. Hide App-Hide Application Icon
    43. AppLock
    44. AppLock Lite
    45. Dual Space – Multiple Accounts & App Cloner
    46. ZAKZAK Pro – Live chat & video chat online
    47. ZAKZAK LIVE: live-streaming & video chat app
    48. Music – Mp3 Player
    49. Music Player – Audio Player & 10 Bands Equalizer
    50. HD Camera Selfie Beauty Camera
    51. Cleaner – Phone Booster
    52. Web Browser & Fast Explorer
    53. Video Player All Format for Android
    54. Photo Gallery HD & Editor
    55. Photo Gallery & Album
    56. Music Player – Bass Booster – Free Download
    57. HD Camera – Beauty Cam with Filters & Panorama
    58. HD Camera Pro & Selfie Camera
    59. Music Player – MP3 Player & 10 Bands Equalizer
    60. Gallery HD
    61. Web Browser – Fast, Privacy & Light Web Explorer
    62. Web Browser – Secure Explorer
    63. Music player – Audio Player
    64. Video Player – All Format HD Video Player
    65. Lamour Love All Over The World
    66. Amour- video chat & call all over the world.
    67. MV Master – Make Your Status Video & Community
    68. MV Master – Best Video Maker & Photo Video Editor
    69. APUS Message Center-Intelligent management
    70. LivU Meet new people & Video chat with strangers
    71. Carrom Friends : Carrom Board & Pool Game-
    72. Ludo All Star- Play Online Ludo Game & Board Games
    73. Bike Racing : Moto Traffic Rider Bike Racing Games
    74. Rangers Of Oblivion : Online Action MMO RPG Game
    75. Z Camera – Photo Editor, Beauty Selfie, Collage
    76. GO SMS Pro – Messenger, Free Themes, Emoji
    77. U-Dictionary: Oxford Dictionary Free Now Translate
    78. Ulike – Define your selfie in trendy style
    79. Tantan – Date For Real
    80. MICO Chat: New Friends Banaen aur Live Chat karen
    81. Kitty Live – Live Streaming & Video Live Chat
    82. Malay Social Dating App to Date & Meet Singles
    83. Alipay
    84. AlipayHK
    85. Mobile Taobao
    86. Youku
    87. Road of Kings- Endless Glory
    88. Sina News
    89. Netease News
    90. Penguin FM
    91. Murderous Pursuits
    92. Tencent Watchlist (Tencent Technology
    93. Learn Chinese AI-Super Chinese
    94. HUYA LIVE – Game Live Stream
    95. Little Q Album
    96. Fighting Landlords – Free and happy Fighting Landlords
    97. Hi Meitu
    98. Mobile Legends: Pocket
    99. VPN for TikTok
    100. VPN for TikTok
    101. Penguin E-sports Live assistant
    102. Buy Cars-offer everything you need, special offers and low prices
    103. iPick
    104. Beauty Camera Plus – Sweet Camera & Face Selfie
    105. Parallel Space Lite – Dual App
    106. “Chief Almighty: First Thunder BC
    107. MARVEL Super War NetEase Games
    108. AFK Arena
    109. Creative Destruction NetEase Games
    110. Crusaders of Light NetEase Games
    111. Mafia City Yotta Games
    112. Onmyoji NetEase Games
    113. Ride Out Heroes NetEase Games
    114. Yimeng Jianghu-Chu Liuxiang has been fully upgraded
    115. Legend: Rising Empire NetEase Games
    116. Arena of Valor: 5v5 Arena Games
    117. Soul Hunters
    118. Rules of Survival”

This is a welcome move by the Government, as apart from the national security risk posed by these apps, many of them were also hooking youth to destructive and addictive behaviour. And for those apps which had productive use, this move opens space for Bharatiya app developers to up their game.

But at the same time, we need to be wary that it’s not just Chinese apps which pose a threat. Even Western apps and platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google have shown the propensity to twist our national discourse as per their standards and criteria. In the end, there is no substitute for a robust, native technology ecosystem in the country which alone can ensure that we maintain our digital sovereignty and don’t end up becoming a digital colony.

As for countering the China-Pakistan threat, this will be a long-drawn battle where our focus should be on ramping up economic growth, and especially manufacturing and defence indigenization.

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