NEW DELHI: The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has ordered all telecom operators and internet service providers (ISPs) to immediately block 59 Chinese apps, including Bytedance’s TikTok, Alibaba’s UC Browser, WeChat, Shareit and Mi Video by smartphone maker, Xiaomi.
The DoT has issued names of the apps to be blocked in two lists. The first list has 35 names, while the second list contains 24 companies, taking the total to 59 as announced by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) late Monday.
“Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has issued directions for blocking of 35 apps under the emergency clause 69A of the IT Act, 2000," the DoT said in its order, a copy of which has been viewed by Mint.
The DoT has directed all internet service licensees to block the IP addresses, domains, communication details and Play Store/ App Store websites with immediate effect. It also asked the operators to submit compliance reports immediately, failing which action will be taken.
After the government, on 29 June, announced the ban on 59 Chinese apps amid rising India-China border conflict, there was confusion over whether the ban was temporary. While popular short video sharing app, TikTok was not appearing on Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store since 30 June morning, the others still showed on different browsing platforms.
By 30 June evening, TikTok started sending out notices to its users informing them about the government’s ban and explaining that the service will not work going forward.
India on Monday banned 59 Chinese apps, a move that clearly points out to an escalation of tensions between the two neighbours whose troops clashed at the border in Ladakh only a few days ago. The government said the apps "are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".
The other apps which have been banned include UC News, CamScanner, Baidu Translate, We Meet, DU Privacy, WeSync, Swwet Selfie. The government said the move "will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace"