The Indian government has banned today 59 Chinese mobile applications on the grounds of national security, according to a government mandate seen by ZDNet.
The ban comes after the Indian military clashed with Chinese forces in the region of Ladakh, in northern India, on June 15, this year. The clashes resulted in at least 20 Indian soldier deaths, and more than 75 injured.
The New Delhi government argues that the 59 apps have been used to collect data on Indian users, data that has been sent back to servers in China.
Indian officials said they believe the data has been mined and used to profile Indian users by "elements hostile to [the] national security and defence of India."
The Indian Ministry of Information Technology, who authorized the ban today, said it received an "exhaustive recommendation" to ban the 59 Chinese apps from the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre at the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Furthermore, the ministry also said India's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) has also received complaints from users about the privacy and security of the banned apps.
It is currently unclear how the Indian government will proceed with the ban at a technical level. The apps are still available on app stores, and they are still working inside the country, at the time of writing. It is unclear if the New Delhi government will ask app stores to remove the apps from their locale Indian stores, or if the government will use local ISPs to block the app's domains.
National-level app bans are usually incredibly hard to enforce. Russia has recently "formally" unbanned the Telegram app after a two-year ban, albeit, the app has never stopped working inside the country, with the Telegram team always finding new ways to bypass the Kremlin's ISP-level ban.
The full list of Chinese apps the Indian government banned today is below and includes:
1. TikTok 2. Shareit 3. Kwai 4. UC Browser 5. Baidu map 6. Shein 7. Clash of Kings 8. DU battery saver 9. Helo 10. Likee 11. YouCam makeup 12. Mi Community 13. CM Browers 14. Virus Cleaner 15. APUS Browser 16. ROMWE 17. Club Factory 18. Newsdog 19. Beutry Plus 20. WeChat 21. UC News 22. QQ Mail 23. Weibo 24. Xender 25. QQ Music 26. QQ Newsfeed 27. Bigo Live 28. SelfieCity 29. Mail Master 30. Parallel Space 31. Mi Video Call - Xiaomi 32. WeSync 33. ES File Explorer 34. Viva Video - QU Video Inc 35. Meitu 36. Vigo Video 37. New Video Status 38. DU Recorder 39. Vault- Hide 40. Cache Cleaner DU App studio 41. DU Cleaner 42. DU Browser 43. Hago Play With New Friends 44. Cam Scanner 45. Clean Master - Cheetah Mobile 46. Wonder Camera 47. Photo Wonder 48. QQ Player 49. We Meet 50. Sweet Selfie 51. Baidu Translate 52. Vmate 53. QQ International 54. QQ Security Center 55. QQ Launcher 56. U Video 57. V fly Status Video 58. Mobile Legends 59. DU Privacy