India is banning another 118 apps said to be either based in or linked to China. PUBG Mobile, Alipay, and Baidu are among the biggest names on the list. India banned TikTok, WeChat, and more than 50 other China-based apps in June, suggesting they were a security issue.
The country’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said that it had received complaints about apps “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.” The ministry’s announcement doesn’t mention China specifically. It broadly states that the action will “safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users.” News reports suggest the bans may be more related to escalating tensions between India and China over an ongoing border dispute.
India has now blocked a number of hugely popular apps, cutting them off from one of the largest markets of mobile phone users. PUBG Mobile, which is made by the sprawling Chinese tech giant Tencent, is said to be one of the country’s biggest games. India was also believed to be one of the biggest markets for TikTok, which has been banned since June. The new ban list also includes two apps that supposedly offer VPN access specifically to use TikTok.