- On 2nd September 2020, the government of India banned 118 Chinese apps including PUBG under section 69a of IT Act, 2020 citing threat to national security & the privacy of Indian citizens.
- Earlier, on 29th June 2020, India banned 59 Chinese Apps including the famous TikTok app for the same reason. The government issued an explanation that these apps are illegally exporting data to locations outside India. It didn’t mention the relation of apps with China, but these apps are mostly of Chinese origin or have a major part of investments from Chinese companies. The government gave a chance to these apps to represent their side and submit clarifications.
Impact of the ban:
- As per the Indian government report, these apps are transferring the user data to the locations outside India in an unauthorized manner. This is a serious threat to the privacy of Indian citizens. So, this ban is a step towards protecting the privacy and security of Indian citizens’ data. Other apps will also strictly follow the rules fearing the ban.
- This step will also reduce India’s digital dependency. And Indian startups and the established companies will be greatly benefitted in gaining user base.
- Other countries may also take similar steps to protect the privacy of their citizens.
- This step will counter China’s efforts to become a tech giant. The banned apps have a large user base in India.
- The ban will add fuel to the Boycott China campaign, which is intensifying due to the coronavirus pandemic and also because of China’s aggression at borders.
- This move may bring more investment to the data centres in India.
- Many Indians were demanding a ban on Tik Tok too from a long time due to its weak content moderation and the presence of vulgar content on the platform. As Tik Tok is watched by children and adolescents too, many were demanding a ban. Even though the app was banned for a short time a year ago, the ban was lifted later. So, the recent ban of Tik Tok app made many people happy.
- Some Indians are earning income from these apps and some others are employed in their offices. This ban will impact them negatively.
This ban will act as a caution for all the tech companies to follow the rules and to store the data locally. And this is also a great opportunity for the Indian companies to launch and upgrade their apps as alternatives to the banned apps.
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