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India Considers Banning Nearly 300 More Chinese Communist-Linked Apps

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India is considering placing a ban on 275 additional Chinese apps, citing concerns about national security and user privacy. This follows the country banning 59 apps, including Tik Tok, last month.

India has drawn up a list of 275 Chinese apps that it will examine for any violation of national security and user privacy, signalling heightened scrutiny and the possibility of more Chinese internet companies being banned in the country, according to people aware of the developments.

This follows the high-profile ban of 59 Chinese apps last month, including short video app TikTok, amid simmering geopolitical tensions between the two Asian giants.

The list, reviewed by ET, includes gaming app PubG backed by China’s most valuable internet major Tencent, Zili by phonemaker Xiaomi, AliExpress by ecommerce giant Alibaba as well as apps like Resso and ULike from TikTok-owner ByteDance.

“The government may ban all, some or none from the list,” said one person cited above.

A spokesperson for the union home ministry did not respond to queries from ET on the developments. However, official sources said reviews aimed at identifying more Chinese apps and their funding is underway. “Some of these apps have been red-flagged due to security reasons while others have been listed for violation of data sharing and privacy concerns,” an official explained.

This is in addition to examining the alleged flow of data from these apps to China that poses a threat to sovereignty and integrity of India, according to officials who pointed to what they termed as China’s data-sharing norm that requires companies of Chinese-origin to share data with the home country, irrespective of where they operate.

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While lawmakers including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have indicated the U.S. may move to ban apps such as Tik Tok, controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, India is a step ahead, translating its fierce China rhetoric into policy.

America would be wise to follow.

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Staff Writer

The National Pulse is a part of the American Principles Project.