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Companies Have Responsibility to Abide by Govt's Rules and Regulations: MEA after Ban on 118 Mobile Apps

A girl holds her smartphone as she updates PUBG in Siliguri. (AFP)

A girl holds her smartphone as she updates PUBG in Siliguri. (AFP)

The government on Wednesday banned 118 mostly-Chinese mobile applications, including the popular online multiplayer game PUBG, after a fresh round of border confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh.

A day after India banned 118 mobile apps, including the popular multiplayer game PUBG, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said companies have a responsibility to abide by the rules and regulations issued by the government.

“India has one of the most open regimes for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in the world, this includes internet companies and digital technology companies. However, they have a responsibility to abide by rules and regulations issued by the government of India,” said MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava at a press briefing in New Delhi.

The government on Wednesday banned 118 mostly-Chinese mobile applications, including the popular online multiplayer game PUBG, after a fresh round of border confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh.

In a statement, the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology said the apps were banned as “they are engaged in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.

This is the third round of crackdown by the government on Chinese-linked applications following the Galwan Valley clashes in June in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.

News18 last month had reported on the proposed ban on apps like PUBG and Ludo. Other apps banned on Wednesday include avatars of applications banned previously, like TikTok and WeChat, Youku, Baidu, Baidu Express and Ali Pay.

“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,” said the ministry statement. It added that it has received many complaints from various sources, including reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms, for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers located 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,” it said.