Amid escalating border tensions between India and China, India has for the third time issued a list announcing a ban on apps made in China. The Government of India has banned 118 mobile apps which could have been cybersecurity threats to India. These apps include the highly popular game PUBG MOBILE, alongside its alternate version for low-spec devices, PUBG LITE, WeChat Work, WeChat Reading, etc.
Earlier, towards June end, GOI had banned 59 Chinese-developed mobile apps from download and use in India. Some of these apps had a large user-base in India, these include Clash of Kings, Helo, SHAREit, TikTok, UC Browser. The government took these actions after the Indo-China border skirmish which, although inconclusive with unclear reasons behind it, resulting in many casualties on both sides by standards of peace.
The incident led to public outrage and prompted the government to ban 59 Chinese apps, which were already said to have data leaks. The government of India had the telecom companies no longer support these apps and their respective websites soon after revealing this step. Apple and Google also had to withdraw these apps from its online stores in India.
Government blocks 118 mobile apps which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, Defence of India, Security of State and Public Order: Govt of India
PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik, PUBG MOBILE LITE, WeChat Work & WeChat reading are among the banned mobile apps. pic.twitter.com/VWrg3WUnO8
— ANI (@ANI) September 2, 2020
The second ban on apps was announced by GOI in the month of July on 47 apps that were developed as an imitation to the Chinese apps banned in June. A ban on PUBG in India directly means that PUBG would now lose approximately 25% of its user-base as the downloads for India total 175 million.