Update on September 3: In response to the Indian government banning 118 ‘Chinese’ apps, the Chinese Embassy in India on Thursday said that the ban not only harms the “legitimate rights and interests” of Chinese investors, but also harms the interests of Indian consumers and the “investment environment”. Read more about it here.

Earlier on September 2: India on Wednesday banned 118 more apps, including popular gaming app PUBG, for allegedly being engaged in activities which are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”. The IT Ministry said that the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre and Home Ministry have sent an “exhaustive recommendation” for blocking these “malicious apps”. So far, the government has banned a total of 224 ‘Chinese’ apps. On June 29, the government had banned 59 apps including TikTok, and WeChat, and followed that up by banning 47 more apps in July. The blocking order was issued under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act. The development comes just days after India and China troops were involved in a fresh face-off at the border.

“The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India. The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,” the IT Ministry said in a statement.

The Ministry said that bipartisan concerns were flagged against the blocked apps, “flagged by various public representatives, both outside and inside the Parliament of India. There has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against Apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens”. “On the basis of these and upon receiving of recent credible inputs that information posted, permissions sought, functionality embedded as well as data harvesting practices of above stated Apps raise serious concerns that these Apps collect and share data in surreptitious manner and compromise personal data and information of users that can have a severe threat to security of the State,” it added.

Banning PUBG was brought up in a Parliamentary panel meet

When the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, headed by Congress’ Shashi Tharoor, had met in person on July 14, BJP’s Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma had proposed that PUBG should be banned given its affect on the youth. Other BJP MPs present at the meeting, including Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Tejasvi Surya had voiced their support for the move.

Local traders’ body welcomes ban

Traders collective the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), welcomed the ban and in a statement to MediaNama said was “a major milestone step against misdeeds of China and will certainly boost the morale of the country”. Praveen Khandelwal, CAIT’s secretary general said that banning more Chinese Apps other than 59 already banned Chinese apps was all the more necessary as these Apps were always a threat to Country’s safety, security and sovereignty as also for the protection of individual data these apps were accruing through their usages. He also said that apps like PUBG were spoiling the next generation as more and more people of India were consuming their more time on PUBG and other Apps.

CAIT had recently written to the Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal to investigate Chinese investments into 141 Indian start-ups including Flipkart, Paytm, Ola, Swiggy, Zomato, Byju’s, Udaan, Practo, ShareChat, Oyo Rooms, DailyHunt, MX Player, GOQii, Quikr, MyGate and Hike.

A list of the 118 banned apps

  1. APUS Launcher Pro- Theme, Live Wallpapers, Smart
  2. APUS Launcher -Theme, Call Show, Wallpaper, HideApps
  3. APUS Security -Antivirus, Phone security, Cleaner
  4. APUS Turbo Cleaner 2020- Junk Cleaner, Anti-Virus
  5. APUS Flashlight-Free & Bright
  6. Cut Cut – Cut Out & Photo Background Editor
  7. Baidu
  8. Baidu Express Edition
  9. FaceU – Inspire your Beauty
  10. ShareSave by Xiaomi: Latest gadgets, amazing deals
  11. CamCard – Business Card Reader
  12. CamCard Business
  13. CamCard for Salesforce
  14. CamOCR
  15. InNote
  16. VooV Meeting – Tencent Video Conferencing
  17. Super Clean – Master of Cleaner, Phone Booster
  18. WeChat reading
  19. Government WeChat
  20. Small Q brush
  21. Tencent Weiyun
  22. Pitu
  23. WeChat Work
  24. Cyber Hunter
  25. Cyber Hunter Lite
  26. Knives Out-No rules, just fight!
  27. Super Mecha Champions
  28. LifeAfter
  29. Dawn of Isles
  30. Ludo World-Ludo Superstar
  31. Chess Rush
  32. PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik
  33. PUBG MOBILE LITE
  34. Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
  35. Art of Conquest: Dark Horizon
  36. Dank Tanks
  37. Warpath
  38. Game of Sultans
  39. Gallery Vault – Hide Pictures And Videos
  40. Smart AppLock (App Protect)
  41. Message Lock (SMS Lock)-Gallery Vault Developer Team
  42. Hide App-Hide Application Icon
  43. AppLock
  44. AppLock Lite
  45. Dual Space – Multiple Accounts & App Cloner
  46. ZAKZAK Pro – Live chat & video chat online
  47. ZAKZAK LIVE: live-streaming & video chat app
  48. Music – Mp3 Player
  49. Music Player – Audio Player & 10 Bands Equalizer
  50. HD Camera Selfie Beauty Camera
  51. Cleaner – Phone Booster
  52. Web Browser & Fast Explorer
  53. Video Player All Format for Android
  54. Photo Gallery HD & Editor
  55. Photo Gallery & Album
  56. Music Player – Bass Booster – Free Download
  57. HD Camera – Beauty Cam with Filters & Panorama
  58. HD Camera Pro & Selfie Camera
  59. Music Player – MP3 Player & 10 Bands Equalizer
  60. Gallery HD
  61. Web Browser – Fast, Privacy & Light Web Explorer
  62. Web Browser – Secure Explorer
  63. Music player – Audio Player
  64. Video Player – All Format HD Video Player
  65. Lamour Love All Over The World
  66. Amour- video chat & call all over the world.
  67. MV Master – Make Your Status Video & Community
  68. MV Master – Best Video Maker & Photo Video Editor
  69. APUS Message Center-Intelligent management
  70. LivU Meet new people & Video chat with strangers
  71. Carrom Friends : Carrom Board & Pool Game-
  72. Ludo All Star- Play Online Ludo Game & Board Games
  73. Bike Racing : Moto Traffic Rider Bike Racing Games
  74. Rangers Of Oblivion : Online Action MMO RPG Game
  75. Z Camera – Photo Editor, Beauty Selfie, Collage
  76. GO SMS Pro – Messenger, Free Themes, Emoji
  77. U-Dictionary: Oxford Dictionary Free Now Translate
  78. Ulike – Define your selfie in trendy style
  79. Tantan – Date For Real
  80. MICO Chat: New Friends Banaen aur Live Chat karen
  81. Kitty Live – Live Streaming & Video Live Chat
  82. Malay Social Dating App to Date & Meet Singles
  83. Alipay
  84. AlipayHK
  85. Mobile Taobao
  86. Youku
  87. Road of Kings- Endless Glory
  88. Sina News
  89. Netease News
  90. Penguin FM
  91. Murderous Pursuits
  92. Tencent Watchlist (Tencent Technology
  93. Learn Chinese AI-Super Chinese
  94. HUYA LIVE – Game Live Stream
  95. Little Q Album
  96. Fighting Landlords – Free and happy Fighting Landlords
  97. Hi Meitu
  98. Mobile Legends: Pocket
  99. VPN for TikTok
  100. VPN for TikTok
  101. Penguin E-sports Live assistant
  102. Buy Cars-offer everything you need, special offers and low prices
  103. iPick
  104. Beauty Camera Plus – Sweet Camera & Face Selfie
  105. Parallel Space Lite – Dual App
  106. “Chief Almighty: First Thunder BC
  107. MARVEL Super War NetEase Games
  108. AFK Arena
  109. Creative Destruction NetEase Games
  110. Crusaders of Light NetEase Games
  111. Mafia City Yotta Games
  112. Onmyoji NetEase Games
  113. Ride Out Heroes NetEase Games
  114. Yimeng Jianghu-Chu Liuxiang has been fully upgraded
  115. Legend: Rising Empire NetEase Games
  116. Arena of Valor: 5v5 Arena Games
  117. Soul Hunters
  118. Rules of Survival

Here’s a breakdown of the banned apps by developers:

Aditi Agrawal helped with the reporting from New Delhi.

This is a developing story…