What just happened? With tensions between China and India showing no signs of abating, the latter has banned another 118 mobile apps with links to China. The list includes PUBG Mobile, which is incredibly popular in India, along with messaging app WeChat.
The Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology claims the apps "are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of state and public order."
The agency goes on to say that it has received complaints from "various sources," alleging that the Chinese apps are "stealing and surreptitiously transmitting" users' data to servers outside of India. In addition to PUBG and WeChat, Baidu, AliPay, and Sina News are also on the ban list.
Government Blocks 118 Mobile Apps Which are Prejudicial to Sovereignty and Integrity of India, Defence of India, Security of State and Public Order.— Ministry of Electronics & IT (@GoI_MeitY) September 2, 2020
Press Release issued by @GoI_MeitY regarding blocking of 118 mobile apps https://t.co/VyahsHR5f0
This isn't the first instance of India taking such action. Back in June, 58 Chinese-made apps were banned in the country, including TikTok. The video-sharing social network, which has courted controversy in the US, was the most-downloaded app in India, where it had over 200 million users—its largest market outside of China.
The bans are a response to the tensions between the countries rising from a disputed Himalayan border, where fighting between the nations has left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead and seen an unknown number of Chinese casualties.
TikTok is also facing problems in the US. President Trump last month signed a pair of executive orders prohibiting US transactions with TikTok and WeChat, a move that TikTok is challenging in court. We recently heard that Microsoft is working with Walmart to acquire the app's US business arm from ByteDance.
Image credit: Ritesh Ranjan Sett