Ban on 54 Chinese apps

On February 14, 2022, India banned 54 Chinese apps, that pose threat to the India’s security.

Why these apps were banned?

These 54 apps were banned because they allegedly obtain critical permissions and collects sensitive data of users. Collected real-time data are being misused and are being transmitted to servers located in hostile country.

What apps have been banned?

The list of banned apps includes, Beauty Camera-Selfie Camera, Sweet Selfie HD, Viva Video Editor, Garena Free Fire – Illuminate, Dual Space Lite, Tencent Xriver, Onmyoji Arena and AppLock.

Garena Free Fire

Garena Free Fire is Singapore-based and its developer is not from China. This game was one of the most downloaded games in India 2021. It had filled up the space created by PUBG Mobile after its ban in September 2020. The app was already removed from App store and Play Store in India.

Background

In June 2021, India banned 59 Chinese mobile applications including widely-used social media platforms like TikTok, WeChat, and Helo, as they were posing threat to the India’s sovereignty and security. India has blocked 321 apps, since border tensions started with China in May 2020. India announced first round of bans in June 2020, following the killing of 20 Indian soldiers in a clash with Chinese troops at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh.

What is the constitutional basis of the bans?

The apps were banned in accordance with Section 69A of the Information Technology Act.

Border standoff in eastern Ladakh

The standoff between Indian and Chinese militaries app started in eastern Ladakh border on May 5, 2020, after a violent clash in the Pangong Lake areas. Both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing their soldiers and heavy weaponry. Tension escalated after a deadly clash in the Galwan Valley on June 15, 2020.

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