NEW DELHI :
Days after the Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps, including the popular TikTok, India’s online news publishers association has asked the government to extend the ban to online news platforms and applications funded by China or Chinese companies.
Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) said the Indian government should take a hard look at the online news sector and ban all news apps and platforms in India funded from China. This is important to ensure that biased information shouldn’t reach Indian users, the organisation of the digital arms of media companies said in a statement today.
DNPA chairman Pawan Agarwal said this is the time that we should consider upholding India’s security, sovereignty as the utmost priority.
On Monday, the government banned 59 mobile apps linked to China citing concerns that these are ‘prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order’.
DNPA underscored that Beijing had practically banned Indian media in China, preventing people in their country from accessing news and opinion from India. “None of the Indian websites can be opened in China even via a VPN (virtual private network)," the statement said.
The DNPA’s communication to the government comes days after Robert O’Brien, National Security Adviser in the Trump administration, spoke about heavy investments by the China’s communist party into overseas propaganda operations. O’Brien said the communist party owned or worked closely with nearly every Chinese language news outlet in the US and was making inroads into English language media as well.