(Pocket-lint) – With tensions heightening withneighbouring China, India has today moved to block 118 apps, saying that these apps are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”
The list contains a wide range of big-name Chinese apps and services, spanning the likes of Baidu, WeChat and Alipay. But the most keenly felt is likely to be PUBG Mobile and the Lite version of the game – both of which are very popular in India.
According to a 31 August 2020 report from SimilarWeb, PUBG Mobile is the number 2 grossing app on Google Play in India, while PUBG Mobile Lite is number 15 on the list.
The statement from the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology says it has received “reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.”
“The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures.”
There’s no mention of China specifically in the statement, but some of China’s biggest tech companies are included on the list.
The ban follows a similar high-profile move against TikTok in June 2020.
“This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace,” the statement says. We have asked PUBG Mobile for a comment.
Writing by Chris Hall.