PUBG, 273 other apps might soon be banned in India

New Delhi: After ban on TikTok and 59 other Chinese apps last month, the government has created a new list of apps to examine them if they pose any risk to national security or individual’s privacy.

This time, the Centre has kept 275 Chinese apps on the radar, including PUBG, Zili, Resso, AliExpressand ULike, according to a report in the Economics Times. Apps from other Chinese internet and tech majors like Meitu, LBE Tech, Perfect Corp, Sina Corp, Netease Games, Yoozoo Global are also in the list.

Although PUBG videogame has been developed by a subsidiary of South Korean video game company Bluehole, it is also backed by China’s most valuable internet major Tencent.  On the other hand, Zili is owned by Xiaomi, Resso and ULike by TikTok-owner Byte Dance, and AliExpress by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

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India largest market of PUBG

India is the largest market of PUBG. According to estimates from app intelligence firm Sensor Tower, PUBG has generated about 17.5 crore installs to date.

The daily said either there would be a ban on all 275 Chinese apps or none at all. Chinese internet companies have about 300 million unique users in India.

Citing a government official, the daily added the aforementioned apps have been red-flagged due to security reasons while others have been listed for violation of data sharing and privacy concerns. Additionally, the government is examining the alleged flow of data from these apps to China that poses a threat to the sovereignty and integrity of India.

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Meanwhile, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MEIT) has sent 77 questions to the 59 banned-Chinese apps. The Centre has asked questions like whether they censored content, worked on behalf of foreign governments or lobbied influencers, among others. The ministry has also given these companies three weeks to respond, that is the first week of August.

On June 29, the Centre banned 59 apps with Chinese links, including TikTok, Shein, UC Browser, and Beauty Plus, saying they were prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity, and security of the country.  Last week, (MEIT) wrote a letter to Chinese firms, warning the continued availability and operation of these banned apps, directly or indirectly, was an offence under the IT Act and other applicable Acts.

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