Indian authorities have blocked 118 mobile apps from Chinese companies that are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India.”
Among the banned titles are PUBG Mobile, which is developed by PUBG Corporation (South Korea) and Tencent (China), and Honor of Kings, which, along with other companies, is also developed and published by Tencent.
In a press release, the government cites multiple complaints about a number of apps across Android and iOS that collect information about users and send it to servers outside the country. The authorities deemed these apps posing “a severe threat to security of the State.”
Interestingly, Call of Duty Mobile wasn’t banned despite being developed by Tencent. This is probably due to the fact the the game is published by Activision in India.
These latest bans seem to be part of India’s ongoing crackdown on apps from Chinese companies. In June and July, the authorities blocked 106 Chinese apps, including TikTok and WeChat. While the government imposed the bans citing data privacy and security issues, the crackdown seems to be a retaliatory move. On June 15, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a border conflict between India and China in northern Ladakh region. Following the skirmish, anti-China sentiment has soared across the nation, with the country’s media calling for Chinese products to be banned.
Yesterday, India accused China of “provocative military movements to change the status quo” on the southern bank of Pangong Tso Lake in the Himalayas near a disputed border. Further bans are likely.