Centre asks Google, Apple to remove banned Chinese apps

Chennai: Close on the heels of banning 59 applications, most of them popular Chinese apps such as TikTok, Shareit, Mi Video Call, Club Factory and Cam Scanner, citing threat to national security and sovereignty, the government of India has issued instructions to Google and Apple to remove the banned applications from their respective application stores.

According to sources, telecom operators and Internet service providers will also be asked to block access and use of these applications on their networks.

The ban comes amid continuing tensions on the border between India and China and covers a variety of applications from e-commerce to gaming, social media, browsers, instant messaging and file sharing.

“Upon receiving recent credible inputs that such apps pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of India, the Government of India has decided to disallow the usage … both [on] mobile and non-mobile Internet-enabled devices,” the Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity) said in a statement.

According to the Ministry, it was invoking its power under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009.

“… in view of the emergent nature of threats, [the government] has decided to block 59 apps … in view of information available [that] they are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order,” the government said.

 

Karthikeyan Halan