The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiY) banned 43 Chinese apps earlier today, as part of the fourth crackdown on apps with ties to China, that are believed to be a threat to national security. The new list includes several apps by Chinese tech giant Alibaba, such as AliSuppliers Mobile, Alibaba Workbench, AliExpress and Alipay Cashier. The development means that the latest banned apps will no longer be available to download via Google Play Store and the Apple App Store in India. Similarly, the said applications will soon stop functioning for those users who already use them on their smartphones.
Timeline of all Chinese apps banned in India
Earlier in June, the government had blocked its first batch of 59 China-origin apps in the country that included notable names such as TikTok, Shareit, UC Browser, and WeChat. That was followed by another ban on 47 apps in July that comprised applications such as CamScanner, SHAREit, and UC Browser, among others. But the most notable raid on 118 Chinese apps occurred in September, which included highly popular apps such as PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite. In all instances, the Central government had claimed that the banned Chinese apps posed a risk at India’s integrity and internal security.
Currently, the list of 43 banned apps in India also includes dating apps like the Chinese Social - Free Online Dating Video App and Chat, Date in Asia, WeDate-Dating App, Free dating app-Singol, start your date and more. The Indian government has again claimed that apps banned under provisions of Section 69A of IT Act, posed a threat of sovereignty and integrity of India.
Focus on Atmanirbhar apps
With the ban of the Chinese apps in India, several domestic players over the months gained prominence in the smartphone app space. For instance, TikTok which earlier dominated the short video platform in the country, was now taken over by home-grown apps like Chingari, Mitron, MX TakaTak and more. Similarly, the upcoming gaming app, Fearless And United – Guards or FAU-G will hope to fill gaps left by PUBG Mobile and PUGB Mobile Lite.
Other apps like Kaagaz Scanner also gained popularity after the ban of CamScanner. Additionally, the Government of India and the Niti Aayog had also launched the Aatmanirbhar App Innovation Challenge - giving a push to Indian app developers to create alternative home-grown apps for otherwise popular apps across categories and genres.