India’s Digital Strike 2.0 has List of 275 Chinese apps on radar including Pubg Mobile, Resso, AliExpress for user privacy violation!
India has drawn up a list of 275 Chinese apps that it will review for any violation of national security and consumer privacy, signaling increased scrutiny and the probability of banning more Chinese internet companies in the country, as per the sources.
The Indian government banned 47 more Chinese-origin apps in the country, after banning 59 Chinese applications last month. The list of the 47 Chinese applications will be released soon.
The new list of games under the scanner is suspected to include the immensely popular PUBG Mobile game, AliExpress e-commerce platform, and another popular game Ludo World. This is something that is worrying governments around the world, including India.
The data these apps collect, as well as what they could share with the Chinese government, is theoretically being discussed. In China, the 2017 National Intelligence Law controls all tech firms that are either located in China or under Chinese control. The law requires all companies to disclose any information that the Chinese Government can demand.
The list includes gaming app PubG backed by China’s most valuable internet major Tencent, phone maker Zili Xiaomi, e-commerce giant Alibaba’s AliExpress, and TikTok-owner ByteDance apps like Resso and ULike. PUBG sees a partial stake by Chinese tech giant Tencent, AliExpress is owned by Alibaba, Zili is an app by popular phone maker Xiaomi, Resso is a music streaming app from Bytedance who also own TikTok, to name a few. This list not only includes apps by Chinese tech giants including Xiaomi, Tencent, Alibaba, and Bytedance, but also developers and companies Meitu, LBE Tech, Perfect Corp, Sina Corp, Netease Games, and Yoozoo Global.
Tech giant Tencent who are the developers of PubG Mobile is a huge gaming company, the mobile game was developed under the idea of PubG PC. Tencent has a 10% share of Bluehole but the mobile game is Chinese and the profit goes to China. In the first half of this year, PUBG Mobile saw a global revenue increase of $1.3 billion ( approximately Rs 9,731 crore) taking its lifetime collection to $3 billion (nearly Rs 22,457 crore) with the largest number of downloads in India ranked at the top with 175 million installs.
TikTok owner ByteDance has spent more than $1 billion to develop its large Indian user base, according to state-controlled media reports, and now faces losses of as much as $6 billion, as hundreds of millions of users are cut off. Initially, the limitations just seemed to stop new installations. In May, TikTok had more than 100 million downloads, double that of the US. But the Indian government won’t change its decision and the restriction looks permanent.
Meanwhile, 77 questions were sent to the 59 banned-Chinese apps by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) The Center has raised questions such as whether, among others, they have censored content, acted on behalf of foreign governments or lobbied influencers. Those companies were also given three weeks by the ministry to respond, i.e. the first week of August. This is in addition to examining the alleged flow of data from these apps to China which poses a threat to India ‘s sovereignty and integrity, according to officials who pointed to what they called China’s data-sharing norm forcing Chinese-origin companies to share data with the home country, irrespective of where they operate.