NEW DELHI- The Government of India has banned 54 Chinese Apps, including the popular game Garena Free Fire. The game was one of the most downloaded games in India last year, and had taken up the space created by PUBG Mobile after it was banned in September 2020. The app was already removed from the Google Play Store and App Store in India.
Since June 2020, the government has banned around 224 Chinese mobile apps, including popular applications like TikTok, Shareit, WeChat, Helo, Likee, UC News, Bigo Live, UC Browser, ES File Explorer, and Mi Community.
According to reports, the list of 54 apps includes some of those that had been banned by the Indian government earlier too but had rebranded themselves and relaunched under new names. Upon official confirmation and after establishing the country of origin, orders have once again been issued to ban the apps.
Several of these apps have been known to either run malicious software or directly send user information to China-based data centres without user consent, ministry sources said.
Among the 54 banned apps , 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, Dual Space Lite are included.
In November 2020, the Centre issued an order under section 69A of the IT Act blocking access to 43 mobile apps. It said this action was taken based on the inputs regarding these apps for engaging in activities that are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the state and public order.
Earlier on 29th June 2020, India had blocked access to 59 mobile apps and on 2nd September 118 more apps were banned under section 69A of the IT Act.