The Indian government has issued an order banning 54 apps linked to China stating that they pose a threat to the privacy and security of Indians, Economic Times reported on February 14. The list of banned apps, as shared by Bar and Bench, includes popular battle royale game Garena Free Fire, which disappeared from app stores over the weekend, and rebranded versions of many apps that were banned in 2020. https://twitter.com/refsrc/status/1493121171768094722?s=12 The Press Information Bureau told MediaNama that they are yet to receive any official statement regarding this from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, and the ministry told MediaNama that they have no information to provide. Google, however, told ET: "On receipt of the interim order passed under Section 69A of the IT Act, following established process, we have notified the affected developers and have temporarily blocked access to the apps that remained available on the Play Store in India." – Google The banned apps are no longer accessible in Google Play Store and Apple App Store in India, MediaNama has verified. Commenting on the ban, an unnamed government official told Economic Times: "Many of the apps from the stable of Tencent and Alibaba, have changed hands to hide ownership. They are also being hosted out of countries like Hong Kong or Singapore, but the data was ultimately going to servers in Chinese destinations [...] even apps such as ByteDance-owned TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat were available for download through alternative means such as APK files, and the government has taken…
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