The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India invoking it’s power under the Section 69 A of ‘The Information Technology Act, 2008’, read with the relevant provisions of the subordinate legislation on Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats had decided to block 118 mobile apps since in view of information available they are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity, defence, security of the state and public order of India.
The MeitY had received many complaints from various sources including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and IOS, platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India. The compilation of these data, it’s mining and profiling by elements hostile to the 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 required emergency measures.
The Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps. Likewise, there have been similar bipartisan concerns, flagged by various public representatives, 50 outside and inside the Parliament of India. There has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens
On the basis of these and upon receiving of recent credible inputs that information posted, permissions sought, functionality embedded as well as data harvesting practices of the above stated apps raise serious concerns that these apps collect and share data in surreptitious manner and compromise personal data and information of users that can have a severe threat to security of the State.
In the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of the nation and security of the state and using the sovereign powers, the Government of India had decided to block the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet enabled devices. This move will safeguard the interests of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of the Indian cyberspace. The apps inter alia affected include:
- Two search engine giant Baidu’s apps;
- CamCard’s business card scanner;
- Alibaba’s Alipay payment app and its Taobao eCommerce platform, which are very dangerous;
- Netease games including Marvel Super War;
- Sina News
The apps which have been banned are:
- APUS Launcher Pro – Theme, Live wallpapers, Smart
- APUS Launcher – Theme, Call Show, Wallpaper, Hide Apps
- APUS Security: Antivirus, Phone security, cleaner
- APUS Turbo Cleaner 2020: Junk cleaner, Antivirus
- APUS Flashlight: Free and Bright
- Cut Cut: Cutout and Photo Background Editor
- Baidu Express Edition
- Face U – Inspire your Beauty
- Share Save by Xiaomi; Latest gadgets, Amazing deals
- CamCard- Business Card Reader
- CamCard Business
- CamCard for Salesforce
- VooV Meeting- Tencent Video Conferencing
- Super Clean – Master of Cleaner, Phone Booster
- WeChat reading
- Government WeChat
- Small Q brush
- Tencent Weiyun
- WeChat Work
- Cyber Hunter
- Cyber Hunter Lite
- Knives Out – No rules, just fight!
- Super Mecha Champions
- Life after
- Dawn of Isles
- Ludo World – Ludo Superstar
- Chess Rush
- PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik
- PUBG MOBILE LITE
- Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
- Art of Conquest: Dark Horizon
- Dank Tanks
- Games of Sultans
- Gallery Vault: Hide Pictures and Videos
- Smart APPLOCK (App Protect)
- Message Lock (SMS Lock)-Gallery Vault Developer Team
- Hide App – Hide Application Icon
- AppLock Lite
- Dual Space – Multiple Accounts and App Cloner
- ZAKZAK Pro- Live chat and video chat online
- ZAKZAK Lite – live streaming and video chat app
- Music – Mp3 player
- Music Player – Audio player and 10 bands equaliser
- HD Camera Selfie Beauty Camera
- Cleaner -Phone Booster
- Web Browser and Fast Explorer
- Video Player All format for Android
- Photo Gallery HD and Editor
- Photo Gallery and Album
- Music Player – Bass Booster – Fast Download
- HD Camera – Beauty Cam with Filters and Panorama
- HD Camera Pro and Selfie Camera
- Music Player- MP3 player and 10 bands equaliser
- Gallery HD
- Web Browser: Fast, Privacy and light web explorer
- Web browser – secure explorer
- Music player – Audio player
- Video player – All format HD video player
- L’amour Love All Over The World
- Amour – Video chat and call all over the world
- MV Master – Make your status video and community
- MV Master – Best Video Maker and Photo Video Editor
- APUS Message – centre – Intelligent Management
- LivU Meet new people and video chat with strangers
- Carrom Friends – Carrom board and Pool games
- Ludo All Star – Play Online Ludo Game and Board Games
- Bike Racing – Moto Traffic Rider Bike Racing Games
- Rangers of Oblivion: Online Action MMO RPG Games
- Z camera – photo editor, beauty selfie, collage
- GO SMS Pro – Messenger, free themes, Emoji
- U – Dictionary – Oxford dictionary free now translate
- Ulike – define your selfie in trendy style
- Tantan – Date for real
- MICO Chat – New Friends Banaen aur Live Chat karen
- Kitty live – Live streaming & Video live chat
- Malay Social Dating App to date & meet singles
- Mobile Taobao
- Roads of Kings – Endless Glory
- Sina News
- Netease News
- Penguin FM
- Murderous Pursuits
- Tencent watch list (Tencent Technology)
- Learn Chinese Al – Super Chinese
- HUYA Live – Game live Stream
- Little Q Album
- Fighting landlords – Free and Happy Fighting Landlords
- Hi Meitu
- Mobile Legends – Pocket
- VPN for TikTok
- VPN for TikTok
- Penguin E-Sports live assistant
- Buy Cars – Offer everything you need, special offers and low prices
- Beauty Camera Plus – sweet camera and face selfie
- Parallel space Lite – Dual App
- Chief Almighty – First Thunder BC
- Marvel super war – NetEase Games
- AFK Arena
- Creative Destruction – NetEase Games
- Crusaders of light – NetEase Games
- Mafia City YottaGames
- Onmyogi NetEase Games
- Ride Out Heroes NetEase Games
- Yimeng Jianghu – Chu Liuxiang has been fully upgraded
- Legend – Rising Empire NetEase Games
- Arena of Valor- 5v5 Arena Games
- Soul Hunters
- Rules of Survival
The Alibaba Group alone has strategic investments in Big Basket ($250 million), Paytm.com ($400 million), Paytm Mall ($150 million), Zomato ($200 million) and Snapdeal ($700 million). Likewise, another Chinese group, Tencent Holdings has its investment in Indian firms like Byju’s ($50 million), Dream11 ($150 million), Flipkart ($300 million), Hike Messenger ($150 million), Ola ($500 million) and Swiggy ($500 million). These are big ticket investments but not enough to acquire majority control over these companies. Yet, they pose a danger to Indian control potentially. In isolation, these may not sound alarming but seen in the context of insidious Chinese efforts to intensify the Chinese stranglehold over the world through an insidious form of colonialism, they look sinister.
The world is also moving towards an aim to make ‘clean networks’, without any linkages with Chinese 5G manufacturers and China based or chinese developed Chinese apps, which have inundated the youth of the world with PubG. A retired man’s entire Provident Fund (social security amount) was siphoned off by his grandson by playing this game. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is an online multiplayer battle royale game developed and published by PUBG Corporation, a subsidiary of South Korean video game company Bluehole. Bluehole is a South Korean game developer based in Buandang-gu, Seongnam, South Korea.
The company is best known for developing TERA and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (via the PUBG Corporation subsidiary) all over the world. With 50 million downloads and 33 million active users in India YTD, PUBG is classified as one of the two unicorn mobile games in India by AppAnnie (the other one being Ludo King). India may have been PUBG Corp’s biggest market in terms of number of users, but its revenue share from the country stood at a puny1.2% of the global revenues, according to Sensor Tower.
Multiple features of this game made PUBG popular in the country – it’s easy to stream, the players can voice chat with friends while the players from one continent can play with players in the other continent, and the game is designed to get the adrenaline pumping and give players a rush. They can be future honey traps of the future. It managed to achieve the right blend of realism and gaming powers.
PUBG gained a devoted legion of fans in a short space of time after its release and cumulative unit sales of the game hit 50 million in June 2018. The game has also been critically acclaimed – it won the Best Multiplayer Game at The Game Awards in 2017 and its free-to-play mobile version for Android and iOS, released in 2018, was nominated for Best Mobile Game at The 2018 Game Awards. This critical success has also translated into commercial success as the game generated millions of US dollars of revenue, most successfully in the United States and to some extent in Europe.
India also banned few other Chinese apps.
WeChat: WeChat is a Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app developed by Tencent. It was first released in 2011 and became one of the world’s largest standalone mobile apps in 2018, with over 1 billion monthly active users;
QQ Tencent: QQ, also known as QQ, is an instant messaging software service and web portal developed by the Chinese technology giant Tencent. QQ offers services that provide online social games, music, movies, shopping, microblogging, and group and voice chat software;
Kik Messenger is not safe at ALL! Kik has been involved in numerous child exploitation and has been criticised as unsafe and dangerous for teens due to its anonymous features and for not offering parental control mechanisms;
Nimbuzz Messenger is an application that helps the users communicate with all of the phone and social network contacts. Just like with Viber or Skype, Nimbuzz Messenger allows you to make calls to mobile phones, as long as you pay a small fee;
Badoo is a dating – focused social network founded by Russian entrepreneur Andrey Andreev in 2006. It is headquartered in Limassol, Cyprus and London, United Kingdom, with offices in Malta, Russia and the United States with features similar to Tinder;
Azar is a free video chat app which allows individuals to chat with strangers, Azar allows you to talk and make friends with people from over 190 countries. Azar, the international messenger, allows you to meet someone new 👫 at the turn of each swipe;
Tantan is the most under-rated and best dating app in India to get more matches. It’s a Chinese dating app and getting popular in India with an increase in the number of users. There are high chances of getting a match on this app compared to any other dating app in India;
Elite Singles: There’s no room for games on EliteSingles, a mature dating site for educated singles looking for a partner who understands the 9-to-5 lifestyle. Unfortunately, the site’s snooty tendencies and failure to back claims may be its downfall;
Tagged With the app redesign in 2017, Tagged become a full fledge social dating service. With the current features offered through the app, it is easy to meet new people, make friends, date, and potentially hook up;
Couchsurfing: Couchsurfing is a service that connects members to a global community of travellers. Use Couchsurfing to find a place to stay or share your home and hometown with travellers. Couchsurfers organise regular events in 200,000 cities around the world. There’s always something to do and new friends to meet;
On trade in services, it is well known that China does not allow foreign payment companies such as Visa and MasterCard and instead favours China Union Pay which dominates the domestic market. Chinese banking sector is pretty much closed to foreign players too. Again, in the case of the digital and data economy, the Chinese strategy is the same: disallow foreign companies such as Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook etc and allow Alibaba and Tencent to dominate the world market. With Telecom services, it is the same story: the domestic company Huawei is ubiquitous.
In the above list L’amour, amour, livU, Mico Chat, Kitty Live, Malay Social dating, Zakzak Pro, Zakzak Live and US – Listed Momo Inc’ Tantan app are all very similar or near similar to the world famous Tinder app to honey trap Indian soldiers, to find the locational details of the Indian army or the concentration of the Indian soldiers along with their residential addresses.
There are many shopping sites of Chinese goods, which will take residential addresses of Indian soldiers along with the bank details of Indian army man. Pakistani songs were video streamed as propaganda warfare and this digital strike dealt a deadly blow to the Chinese gaming industry.
Beijing’s mind set about baseline surveillance helps explain why the CCP views universal human rights like privacy and freedom of expression and religion as canards intended to subvert its rule. Lately joining these baseline programs is the “social credit” system (社会信用体系, shehui xinyong tixi), scheduled to fully roll out by 2020.
The system is enabled in significant measure by Alibaba (阿里巴巴), the highly successful online sales platform. It runs Alipay, which allows users to buy a wide range of products, even vegetables in a farmer’s market, with just a mobile phone. Alipay also offers users entry into Zhima (芝麻), or Sesame, Credit.
The company is assembling a “social integrity system” that has already integrated into Zhima Credit a government database of six million people who have defaulted on court fines. According to Lucy Peng, chief executive officer of Ant Financial Services (the online finance arm of Alibaba Group), Zhima Credit will “ensure that the bad people in society don’t have a place to go, while good people can move freely and without obstruction.”
Alibaba will probably work closely with the CCP to meet its goals of societal control. Banning of Alipay is a great move to secure the nation. The Chinese apps had something or the other for all age groups and gender and it included shopping Chinese herbs and sex enhancements drugs and massage oils.
Shares of Tencent Holdings Ltd. TCEHY 1.15% plunged as much as 10% on Friday, hours after President Trump signed an executive order that would bar US entities from transacting with the Chinese internet giant and its popular social-media app, WeChat. Banning the apps, including the popular PUBG Mobile, is the most visible indication of India’s slow decoupling from China, as it has both an emotional and an economic impact.
“This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security, privacy and sovereignty of the Indian cyberspace.” Well done. Bravo.