One-third of the latest Chinese mobile apps banned by India are dating services

One-third of the latest Chinese mobile apps banned by India are dating services
The Chinese flagBCCL
  • The Indian government has banned another 43 Chinese apps from operating in India. Fifteen of these apps are dating services.
  • With tensions between India and China rising on the border, the quantum of dating apps banned reflects that the government may be wary of Indian Army soldiers or officials being ‘honey trapped’.
  • Honey trapping is when agents from a foreign country pose a ‘pretty,young’ woman to seduce unsuspecting targets into inadvertently sharing confidential information.
The Indian government has banned another 43 Chinese apps from operating in India. This is the fourth tranche of mobile apps that have been shunned by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

India’s crackdown on Chinese apps has led to the ban of notable apps like the battle royale PlayersUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and short video streaming app TikTok. However, this time around, more than one-third of the list consists of dating services.

As tensions continue to mount between the two countries along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh, it seems the government is addressing the threat of officers or soldiers being honey-trapped.
Complimentary Tech Event
Transform talent with learning that works
Capability development is critical for businesses who want to push the envelope of innovation.Discover how business leaders are strategizing around building talent capabilities and empowering employee transformation.Know More

In a bid to keep any covert agents looking to engage with soldiers on a romantic level, the Indian Army had banned apps like Tinder, OK Cupid, and Bumble of its own accord back in July.

Full list of Chinese dating apps banned by the Indian government:

  1. Soul- Follow the soul to find you
  2. Chinese Social - Free Online Dating Video App & Chat
  3. Date in Asia - Dating & Chat For Asian Singles
  4. WeDate-Dating App
  5. Free dating app-Singol, start your date!
  6. Adore App
  7. TrulyChinese - Chinese Dating App
  8. TrulyAsian - Asian Dating App
  9. ChinaLove: dating app for Chinese singles
  10. DateMyAge: Chat, Meet, Date Mature Singles Online
  11. AsianDate: find Asian singles
  12. FlirtWish: chat with singles
  13. Guys Only Dating: Gay Chat
  14. First Love Live- super hot live beauties live online
  15. Rela - Lesbian Social Network
What is a honey trap?
The Army describes honey-trapping as a weapon of hybrid warfare waged by its enemies. In addition to being wary of women trying to flirt with them online, soldiers have also been asked to not post photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram while in uniform or alongside military equipment, installations and cantonments in the backdrop.

Using online dating services, like the ones which have been banned, spies pose as ‘pretty, young women’ liking a soldier’s post on social media, according to the Indian Army. After some light conversation, the woman normally starts asking for more photos of guns, tanks, and other weaponry.

The problem intensifies when the conversation moves from the dating app to direct messages and WhatsApp chats. With confidential or sensitive information in hand, these agents then try to blackmail the ‘honey-trapped’ soldier into divulging defence secrets. In the past, this has been the strategy used by the operatives of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

A prominent example is of a lady who called herself Anika Chopra. She posed as an Army Captain at the Military Nursing Corps online, managing to trap at least 50 jawans in the Indian Army. In another case, a soldier in training from Rohtak was found to have shared multiple pictures from at least 18 different Army Recruitment Centres.

India bans another 43 Chinese apps as border tensions along LAC continue to simmer

Indian government has banned 220 Chinese apps so far – including PUBG Mobile, AliExpress, TikTok, ShareIt, and more

PM Modi warns against complacency before COVID-19 vaccine — asks states to begin work on cold storage facilities