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Perfect 10 Digital Strike! A Masterstroke by Modi Government


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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:

  1. APUS Launcher Pro – Theme, Live wallpapers, Smart
  2. APUS Launcher – Theme, Call Show, Wallpaper, Hide Apps
  3. APUS Security: Antivirus, Phone security, cleaner
  4. APUS Turbo Cleaner 2020: Junk cleaner, Antivirus
  5. APUS Flashlight: Free and Bright
  6. Cut Cut: Cutout and Photo Background Editor
  7. Baidu
  8. Baidu Express Edition
  9. Face U – Inspire your Beauty
  10. Share Save by Xiaomi; Latest gadgets, Amazing deals
  11. CamCard- Business Card Reader
  12. CamCard Business
  13. CamCard for Salesforce
  14. CamOCR
  15. InNote
  16. VooV Meeting- Tencent Video Conferencing
  17. Super Clean – Master of Cleaner, Phone Booster
  18. WeChat reading
  19. Government WeChat
  20. Small Q brush
  21. Tencent Weiyun
  22. Pitu
  23. WeChat Work
  24. Cyber Hunter
  25. Cyber Hunter Lite
  26. Knives Out – No rules, just fight!
  27. Super Mecha Champions
  28. Life after
  29. Dawn of Isles
  30. Ludo World – Ludo Superstar
  31. Chess Rush
  32. PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik
  34. Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
  35. Art of Conquest: Dark Horizon
  36. Dank Tanks
  37. Warpath
  38. Games of Sultans
  39. Gallery Vault: Hide Pictures and Videos
  40. Smart APPLOCK (App Protect)
  41. Message Lock (SMS Lock)-Gallery Vault Developer Team
  42. Hide App – Hide Application Icon
  43. AppLock
  44. AppLock Lite
  45. Dual Space – Multiple Accounts and App Cloner
  46. ZAKZAK Pro- Live chat and video chat online
  47. ZAKZAK Lite – live streaming and video chat app
  48. Music – Mp3 player
  49. Music Player – Audio player and 10 bands equaliser
  50. HD Camera Selfie Beauty Camera
  51. Cleaner -Phone Booster
  52. Web Browser and Fast Explorer
  53. Video Player All format for Android
  54. Photo Gallery HD and Editor
  55. Photo Gallery and Album
  56. Music Player – Bass Booster – Fast Download
  57. HD Camera – Beauty Cam with Filters and Panorama
  58. HD Camera Pro and Selfie Camera
  59. Music Player- MP3 player and 10 bands equaliser
  60. Gallery HD
  61. Web Browser: Fast, Privacy and light web explorer
  62. Web browser – secure explorer
  63. Music player – Audio player
  64. Video player – All format HD video player
  65. L’amour Love All Over The World
  66. Amour – Video chat and call all over the world
  67. MV Master – Make your status video and community
  68. MV Master – Best Video Maker and Photo Video Editor
  69. APUS Message – centre – Intelligent Management
  70. LivU Meet new people and video chat with strangers
  71. Carrom Friends – Carrom board and Pool games
  72. Ludo All Star – Play Online Ludo Game and Board Games
  73. Bike Racing – Moto Traffic Rider Bike Racing Games
  74. Rangers of Oblivion: Online Action MMO RPG Games
  75. Z camera – photo editor, beauty selfie, collage
  76. GO SMS Pro – Messenger, free themes, Emoji
  77. U – Dictionary – Oxford dictionary free now translate
  78. Ulike – define your selfie in trendy style
  79. Tantan – Date for real
  80. MICO Chat – New Friends Banaen aur Live Chat karen
  81. Kitty live – Live streaming & Video live chat
  82. Malay Social Dating App to date & meet singles
  83. Alipay
  84. AlipayHK
  85. Mobile Taobao
  86. Youku
  87. Roads of Kings – Endless Glory
  88. Sina News
  89. Netease News
  90. Penguin FM
  91. Murderous Pursuits
  92. Tencent watch list (Tencent Technology)
  93. Learn Chinese Al – Super Chinese
  94. HUYA Live – Game live Stream
  95. Little Q Album
  96. Fighting landlords – Free and Happy Fighting Landlords
  97. Hi Meitu
  98. Mobile Legends – Pocket
  99. VPN for TikTok
  100. VPN for TikTok
  101. Penguin E-Sports live assistant
  102. Buy Cars – Offer everything you need, special offers and low prices
  103. iPick
  104. Beauty Camera Plus – sweet camera and face selfie
  105. Parallel space Lite – Dual App
  106. Chief Almighty – First Thunder BC
  107. Marvel super war – NetEase Games
  108. AFK Arena
  109. Creative Destruction – NetEase Games
  110. Crusaders of light – NetEase Games
  111. Mafia City YottaGames
  112. Onmyogi NetEase Games
  113. Ride Out Heroes NetEase Games
  114. Yimeng Jianghu – Chu Liuxiang has been fully upgraded
  115. Legend – Rising Empire NetEase Games
  116. Arena of Valor- 5v5 Arena Games
  117. Soul Hunters
  118. 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.

Rajiv Saxena
Rajiv Saxena
Rajiv Prakash Saxena is a graduate of UBC, Vancouver, Canada. He is an authority on eCommerce, eProcurement, eSign, DSCs and Internet Security. He has been a Technology Bureaucrat and Thought leader in the Government. He has 8 books and few UN assignments. He wrote IT Policies of Colombia and has implemented projects in Jordan, Rwanda, Nepal and Mauritius. Rajiv writes, speaks, mentors on technology issues in Express Computers, ET, National frontier and TV debates. He worked and guided the following divisions: Computer Aided Design (CAD), UP: MP: Maharashtra and Haryana State Coordinator to setup NICNET in their respective Districts of the State, TradeNIC, wherein a CD containing list of 1,00,000 exporters was cut with a search engine and distributed to all Indian Embassies and High Commissions way back in the year 1997 (It was an initiative between NIC and MEA Trade Division headed by Ms. Sujatha Singh, IFS, India’s Ex Foreign Secretary), Law Commission, Ministry of Law & Justice, Department of Legal Affairs, Department of Justice, Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA), National Jail Project, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission for Minorities (NCM), National Data Centres (NDC), NIC National Infrastructure, Certifying Authority (CA) to issue Digital Signature Certificates (DSCs), eProcurement, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MPA), Lok Sabha and its Secretariat (LSS) and Rajya Sabha and its Secretariat (RSS) along with their subordinate and attached offices like Directorate of Estate (DoE), Land & Development Office (L&DO), National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC), Central Public Works Department (CPWD), National Capital Regional Planning Board (NCRPB), Housing & Urban Development Corporation (HUDO), National Building Organisation (NBO), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), BMPTC and many others.


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