India bans china apps

The Indian government has debarred 59 Chinese apps claiming that the apps are prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order.”The Ministry of Information Technology, summoning its power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act and in view of the emergent nature of threats has planned to block 59 apps,” the government said in its official statement.The banned Chinese apps include TikTok, ShareIt, UC Browser, WeChat, Club Factory and more. While outlawing the Chinese apps, the Ministry of Information Technology said that it has gottengrievances and reports of these apps “stealing and furtively transmitting users’ data in an unlawfulway to servers which have locations outside India”.

List of Chinese apps banned in India

  1. TikTok
  2. ShareIt
  3. Kwai
  4. UC Browser
  5. Baidu Map
  6. Shein
  7. Clash of Kings
  8. DU Battery Saver
  9. Helo
  10. Likee
  11. YouCam
  12. Makeup
  13. Mi Community
  14. CM Browser
  15. Virus Cleaner
  16. APUS Browser
  17. ROMWE
  18. Club Factory
  19. Newsdog
  20. Beauty Plus
  21. WeChat
  22. UC News
  23. QQ Mail
  24. Weibo
  25. Xender
  26. QQ Music
  27. QQ Newsfeed
  28. Bigo Live
  29. SelfieCity
  30. Mail Master
  31. Parallel Space
  32. Mi Video Call
  33. WeSync
  34. ES File Explorer
  35. Viva Video
  36. QU Video Inc
  37. Meitu
  38. Vigo Video
  39. New Video Status
  40. DU Recorder
  41. Vault-hide Cache Cleaner
  42. DU App Studio
  43. DU Cleaner
  44. DU Browser
  45. Hago Play With New Friends
  46. CamScanner Clean Master
  47. Cheetah Mobile Wonder Camera
  48. Photo Wonder
  49. QQ Player
  50. We Meet
  51. Sweet Selfie
  52. Baidu Translate
  53. VMate
  54. QQ International
  55. QQ Security Center
  56. QQ Launcher
  57. U Video
  58. V fly Status Video Mobile Legends
  59. DU Privacy

The Centre earlier this week, via an interim order, gridlocked access to 59 Chinese phone applications from India. Largely, these restrictions are familiarizedvia a ‘geo-block’, i.e. a technological measure which confines access to content based on the user’s IP address. However, the precise nature and scope of the constraint is not completely clear and is being configured at this stage. Presently, some of these apps cannot be accessed in India even with the assistance of a virtual private network or with the assistance of a technologically progressive firewall.The order was communicated via a Press Information Bureau notification, which will be enforced under section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 read with the Blocking Rules, 2009. This interim order was maybe taken under the emergency powers of the Blocking Rules which allow the government to do away with any notice or hearing needs for a period of 48 hours. During this 48 hour phase, the government has to summon a committee to seek their recommendations. After the 48 hour period is over, the IT secretary then has to pass a final order annulling the interim measure and unblock access or finalize the blocking order. The PIB notification typifies these apps as ‘malicious’, citing quite a lot of complaints against these Apps for allegedlyfacilitatingunauthorized transmission of user data to servers located ‘outside India’. The reasons specified in the notification are that these apps are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to user confidentiality and the sovereignty of India. Even though the app is still accessible on the phones of prevailing users, new users are inept to access it. Further, the Ministry of Information and Technology is in discussions with the Department of Telecommunications to operationalize the geo-block.  While the geoblock raises critical implementation concerns too, in this article, we confine ourselves to reviewing the consequences of this move on intercontinental trade and the Constitution.

Will this digital strike to regulate international dealings influence trade?

The timing of the ban makes it sensible to scrutinize this move in the geopolitical context of the clash between the Indian and Chinese military in Galwan Valley.  There exists a substantial difference in the military strength of India and China in the latter’s favor. India’s massive trade deficit (of around $50 billion) with China, driven by Indian dependency on Chinese merchandises in numeroussegments, further bounds its aptitude to impose economic sanctions without severely impacting its growth, this seriously limits the avenues of retaliation accessible to the binding government.  It is unquestionablyvital for the government to hold its ground when confronted with Chinese imperialism. It doesn’t help that both India and China have nuclear proficiencies, which makes it vital to counter any hazard of escalation. While the choice to use a technological measure might be well-meant towards settling the twin interests of signalingand alsoavertingunreasonably excessive escalation, it might not have the preferred effect. These apps hardlyscrape the surface of the Chinese stake in the Indian economy.

As per a report published by Brookings India, there has been a colossal influx of Chinese capital predominantly in the tech and pharmaceutical segments and this is if we discount the investments from China channeledvia third-party nations such as Singapore. The report also notes how numerous Chinese technology firms and venture capital players have attained minority or monitoring stakes in Indian firms.  As Ananth Krishnan, China correspondent for The Hindu pointed out, India accounts for 0.03% of TikTok’s parent firmByteDance’s global revenue. Therefore, banning these apps will make little to no economic influence on China in the short term, inciting claims that this is simply a tool of political showmanship. In contrast, this ban may have thwarted China’s top tech companies in what severalcontemplate to be the world’s biggest, untapped digital marketplace. Moreover, this ban mightoffer a model for other nations that have expressed apprehensions about the omnipresence of apps like TikTok and the confidentiality threat it poses with regard to their citizens’ data.