As per a report by ANI, the 118 Chinese apps have been banned for supposedly engaging in activities that are detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defense, the security of the state, as well as public order.
The government had already banned 59 Chinese-origin applications on June 29th to allegedly secure the safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace. The list included applications TikTok, ShareIt, UC Browser, Helo, Likee, Mi Community, Virus Cleaner, Beauty Plus, WeChat, UC News, Weibo, Xender, Bigo Live, Cam Scanner, Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile, and others.
A month later, the government had banned 47 more apps for supposedly functioning as ‘clones’ of the previously banned applications. With the new ban, the number of Chinese apps prohibited in India now stands at 224.
Government blocks 118 mobile apps which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, Defence of India, Security of State and Public Order: Govt of India
PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik, PUBG MOBILE LITE, WeChat Work & WeChat reading are among the banned mobile apps. pic.twitter.com/VWrg3WUnO8
— ANI (@ANI) September 2, 2020
The list now also contains apps like Baidu and WeChat, but the biggest title on it is definitely PUBG Mobile. The first time the Indian government initiated its digital attack on China, many wondered how and why PUBG Mobile was not included in the banned apps list. It could be because the app has a rather mixed origin.
PUBG is an online multiplayer battle royale developed by South Korean video game studio Bluehole subsidiary PUBG Corporation. But the mobile version of the title is not made by the same company because when PUBG Mobile launched, the reason behind it was to make PUBG enter China as it was banned in the country.
The title launched in China only after Shenzhen-based Tencent Games bought a 1.5 percent stake in Bluehole Studio, and this is how PUBG Mobile was built.
With the government now prohibiting PUBG Mobile as well, it is clear that it intends to set a precedence.