KEY POINTS

  • India's list of banned apps grew as officials moved to ban another 47 Chinese-owned apps over the weekend amid rising tensions with their northern neighbors
  • Indian officials are reviewing another 275 Chinese-owned apps still available in India for potential security and data concerns
  • PUBG Mobile is among the biggest apps under review, with over 600 million downloads globally and is one of Chinese multinational Tencent's most successful overseas apps

The Indian government has ordered a ban on another 47 Chinese-owned apps, with reports that another 275 apps could be banned after undergoing a review by Indian security officials.

“We have banned 47 mobile apps from China in this ongoing exercise, which highlights the government's seriousness about data privacy and security,” a government official, whose name has not been released, told reporters. “The order was issued on Friday. Most of these 47 apps are banned for the same reasons as the earlier 59, and many were lite versions or variants of the earlier banned applications.”

India’s latest ban comes nearly a month after 59 other apps were banned, including the popular social media app TikTok.  Tensions with China boiled over in June during a series of skirmishes along the Sino-Indian border, resulting n the deaths of at least 20 Indian soldiers. China has not said how many casualties it suffered as a result of the skirmishes.

Indian officials have not provided a full list of banned apps, but some of the apps hit included TikTok Lite, Helo Lite, SHAREit Lite, BIGO LIVE Lite and VFY.

Officials have not said how long the review process will be for the remaining apps, but have provided lists to local outlets of the apps in question. Indian-outlet the Economic Times reported the list include AliExpress, Resso, Zili, ULike, and PUBG Mobile.

PUBG Mobile is easily the biggest app under review by Indian officials. A mobile spinoff of the popular console and PC game, it has been downloaded over 600 million times since it launched in 2018. It’s also one of the most successful Chinese mobile games outside China, with parent company and Chinese multinational Tencent saying the game brought in around $776 million in revenue for 2019.

Some analysts argue that Facebook will see only limited losses from the ad boycott because of the more than two billion people who use the social network and its apps Some analysts argue that Facebook will see only limited losses from the ad boycott because of the more than two billion people who use the social network and its apps Photo: AFP / Olivier DOULIERY