India’s Ministry of Home Affairs has asked the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to block access to 54 apps operated by Chinese companies in India, citing national security concerns – and amid growing tension between the world’s two most populous countries.
The ministry claims the 54 apps grant permissions to access many parts of the phone and collect sensitive consumer data.
“These collected real-time data are being misused and transmitted to servers located in [a] hostile country. This will enable them to compile huge personal data to mine, collate, analyse and profile by the elements who are hostile to the sovereignty and integrity of India and for activities detrimental to national security,” the ministry said in a statement.
This is not the first time India has moved to block access to Chinese apps.
India blocked access to some 59 Chinese-operated apps in June 2020, followed by 47 more in August, a further 118 in September and 43 more in November of the same year.
The ministry claims the newly banned apps are either cloned versions of previously banned apps or simply have functionality so similar as to create the same security concerns.
Among the apps banned this time around are Beauty Camera; Sweet Selfie HD; Beauty Camera – Selfie Camera; Equalizer & Bass Booster; CamCard for SalesForce Ent; Isoland 2: Ashes of Time Lite; Viva Video Editor; Tencent Xriver; Onmyoji Chess; Onmyoji Arena; AppLock and Dual Space Lite.
- Reuters, with additional editing by Neal McGrath