The Indian government has announced a ban on TikTok, Shareit, UC Browser and a host of Xiaomi apps in a recent order. The list, which includes a total of 59 apps including the virally popular TikTok, has regarded the mentioned apps as being “engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.” In light of this, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has invoked its power under section 69A of the Indian Information Technology Act, 2000, which specifies “Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public”.

The full list of apps is as follows:

  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

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has said in a media statement on the matter, “There have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians. It has been noted recently that such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of our country. The Ministry of 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 government has noted precedent of other governments taking similar actions as well, and stated that the ban comes in light of “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.” A previous report had already hinted at a potential ban of these apps, based on sources from Indian intelligence agencies. The ban today comes in light of the previous report, indicating a move to safeguard the data of Indian users.

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