India bans over a hundred Chinese apps for ‘data theft

The Indian government has banned 118 apps made in China, including some very popular ones. WeChat, Alipay and the game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), among others, are no longer allowed to be used in India.

According to the Ministry of Electronics and IT, the apps steal data from users. The data would be sent unnoticed to foreign servers. The apps “are involved in activities that are detrimental to India’s security and public order. That’s a major concern that requires urgent action.”

It concerns games, payment services, software to edit selfies and dating apps. In June India also banned about sixty apps, including TikTok, and a month later even more apps were banned.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has condemned the action and wants India to “rectify this mistake“. The ban violates the interests of Chinese investors and service providers in India, according to the ministry.

Border conflict

In recent months, tensions between China and India have increased, due to a conflict in the Himalayan border region. Just this week, India accused China of provocation after Chinese troops attempted to cross the border into the disputed region.

This border conflict has been going on for decades. Both countries claim areas on the 4000 kilometer long border. By banning the apps, India is trying to hit the neighboring country economically, economists say.