Chinese apps banned in India – What will happen to the apps on your phone, should you remove the app and other questions answered

Chinese apps banned in India – What will happen to the apps on your phone, should you remove the app and other questions answered
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  • The Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps including popular ones like TikTok, UC Browser, ShareIt and others.
  • These apps have been banned at a time when the India-China border tensions have been escalating.
  • The government cited national security concerns and banned Chinese apps under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
The Indian government has banned 59 Chinese apps including popular video sharing platform TikTok. The ban comes at a time when India and China are embroiled in a border dispute in the Galwan Valley region.

"The Ministry of Information Technology, invoking its power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act and in view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 59 apps,” the government said in its official notification.

The sudden ban may have raised several questions among the people. In this post, we will answer some of the questions that you may have about the Chinese apps banned in India.

  1. Why did the Indian government ban Chinese apps?
    The Chinese apps banned by the Indian government were reportedly engaging in activities that are ‘prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order’.

    The notification further said that the Ministry of Information Technology has received complaints and reports of these apps “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India”.
  2. Which Chinese apps have been banned in India?
    You can find the list of the 59 banned Chinese apps here.
  3. Can I still download the banned apps?
    TikTok has already been removed from the Play Store and the App Store in India. The other banned apps are expected to be removed in the coming days as well. While you will still be able to install the apps on your phone using APKs available on the internet, it is not recommended to do so.An APK is a file that is used to install Android apps. It may not be safe to download these files from unofficial sources.
  4. Will I be able to use these apps?
    If you have already downloaded the app, you will be able to access the app for now. However, the government may ask the internet service providers (ISPs) and telecom companies to stop users from accessing these apps by blocking them.
  5. Is it illegal to use the banned Chinese apps?
    At present, it is not illegal to use the banned Chinese apps. If you wish to continue using these apps, you can do so without any issue as long as they are working.

    “Users who have already downloaded these apps may see a message citing the Government’s order as the reason to restrict the user’s access. However, similar banning orders have been passed by the government in the past as well, and have often been a challenge to implement practically, since users may be able to view such sites through proxy servers and domains,” Tanu Banerjee, a partner at Induslaw told Business Insider.
  6. Is there a fine on using the banned Chinese apps?
    As it is not illegal to use the banned Chinese apps, you will not be fined for using them.
  7. What should I do if I have the banned Chinese app on my phone?
    While the app will continue working for some time, they will no longer receive any updates in India as they will be removed from the Play Store. Once the internet access is stopped for these apps, they will no longer be useful and can be removed.


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