India on Wednesday banned more than 100 mobile applications including the hugely popular mobile gaming app PUBG. After banning 59 Chinese apps in the first round earlier this year Indian Government took the decision to ban the apps citing concerns of data security after fresh tensions between India and China in the border area in eastern Ladakh. The banned mobile applications are prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity, defence of India and public order, as cited by the ministry.
There are nearly 33 million active PUBG players in India. It is one of the most popular apps downloaded in the country. PUBG reportedly clocks 13 million users per day. The ministry of electronics and information technology received several complaints from various sources about misuse of some mobile apps available on the Android and iOS platforms. The complaints alleged stealing and transmitting users data in an unauthorized manner to servers which possibly had locations outside India.
There has been a strong demand to take strict action against mobile applications that harm India’s sovereignty and privacy of citizens. The decision is to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.
The banning of the apps will also safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. In June 2020, the Centre had banned 59 Chinese applications such as TikTok, UC Browser , WeChat and many more. And now in the month of September the Government has banned 118 more applications including PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite.
Tensions between the world’s two most populous nations India and China have been revolving since early this year and escalated after more than 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a military clash in the Himalayas in June.
China has expressed strong objection to India’s decision to ban 118 more Chinese apps. India’s prohibitions have stopped business operations of several Chinese companies in India. There is a risk the sudden change in the business environment will discourage Chinese investment more generally.