26 May 2020
The Indian government has announced an interim ban on 59 Chinese apps on security grounds. The list includes some of the hugely popular apps like TikTok, ShareIt, UC Browser, Vigo Video, Kwai, Helo, and Likee. The official press release describes these apps as a threat to the sovereignty and security of India.
The release mentions that the apps have been banned in "view of the information available they are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, the security of the state and public order." It adds that concerned authorities received a lot of complaints from different sources related to the stealing of data through such apps and then sharing the same on servers situated outside India.
The only thing common among all these banned 59 apps is that they are of Chinese origin. Other than this, these apps are spread across different categories including social media, shopping, utility, and photography. These apps have been prohibited from operating on both mobile and non-mobile Internet-enabled devices.
As for the execution of the ban, it is believed that all these apps will get removed from Google Play Store and Apple's App Store for the Indian market. The government is further expected to get in touch with internet service providers (ISPs) to block these apps from running on an Indian IP. This move will prevent the usage of the app through manual APK installation.