India has banned many Chinese apps over security concerns including Garena Free Fire and PUBG. As of now, a total of 320 apps have reportedly been banned.
The Indian government has blocked as many as 320 apps so far over security concerns. The Ministry of State for Commerce and Industry has shared the information about the same in a written reply in the Lok Sabha. Som Parkash, the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry stated that these apps were banned due to the “sovereignty, integrity and security of the state.”
In the latest round of apps being banned that took place last month, the government banned 54 apps out of which 49 apps are the one that were re-launched after rebranding of earlier blocked apps apps. The government claims that these apps were more like duplicates of the ones that were banned in 2020.
320 Chinese apps banned under the provision of section 69A of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000
PTI quoted Parkash as saying, “In line with the objective to ensure a safe, trustworthy and accountable internet for all its users, the government has so far blocked 320 mobile applications under the provision of section 69A of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000.”
Parkash also explained how banning these Chinese apps doesn’t impact the Indian economy much. He shared that India has received only $2.45 billion Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from China from April 2000 to December 2021. He added “China stands at 20th position with only 0.43 per cent share (USD 2.45 billion) in total FDI equity inflow reported in India during the period of April 2000 to December, 2021.”
The Indian government had first announced the ban on Chinese mobile applications in June 2020. In February 2022, the government has once again released the list of 59 popular chinese including TikTok, ShareIt, UCBrowser, SheIn, Clash of Kings, WeChat, Garena Free Fire and many more to be banned.
After PUBG Mobile was banned, Krafton studios announced an Indian version of the game Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI). And recently some reports suggesting Indian NGOs are demanding a ban be imposed on this battle royale game too. However, the government is yet to make any statement or take any action on it.