The Indian government has reportedly ordered telecom operators and other internet service providers to block 59 banned Chinese apps in India in a bid to clamp down on such businesses following a border clash between the two countries.
The government has formally approached Google and Apple, and has asked them to restrict new app downloads by removing the listed apps from their respective app stores. Telecom companies have also started to look for ways to disable the apps that have already been downloaded on phones within India. While one of the telecom operators has stated that it will take time to block the downloaded apps, it has not yet been clarified as to how the companies will take the relevant action.
The Department of Telecom had reportedly asked the companies to immediately block access to the listed apps and their websites and failing to do so would make them liable for legal action. The department has passed this order following this week’s announcement by the Indian government that debarred several Chinese apps including Alibaba’s UC News, ByteDance’s TikTok, and Tencent’s WeChat, on the grounds of posing threat to Indian sovereignty and integrity.
Following the announcement, the websites of some of these apps could no longer be accessed from some internet networks within the Indian frontiers. Sources state that ByteDance had moved to immediately block TikTok in India in the wake of the government’s announcement. However, several other prohibited apps were all the same available for download.
Sources claim that China has expressed criticism over India’s move, and the Chinese Embassy in Delhi has stated that it suspected the decision to be violative of WTO rules.
Further, ByteDance’s TikTok has stated that it shows compliance with all privacy and data security policies in India and the company is planning to hold talks with Indian officials to seek clarifications regarding the app ban.