Banned! TikTok, ShareIt, Clash of Kings, CamScanner among 59 Chinese apps banned in India

Highlights
  • The banned Chinese apps have been deemed an emergent security threat
  • The list includes popular apps such as TikTok, CamScanner, ShareIt, Xender, etc

The government has decided to ban 59 China-based apps due to the “emergent nature of threat” they pose. An official notice says the apps have been banned under section 69A of the Information Technology Act and that these apps are “prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, the security of the state, and public order.” The list of banned apps include popular apps such as TikTok, ShareIt, UC Browser, UC News, Helo, Likee, Xender, CamScanner, DU Battery Saver, Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile, among others. The full list of the 59 Chinese apps banned in India is below:

List of Chinese apps banned in India:

  1. TikTok
  2. ShareIt
  3. Kwai
  4. UC Browser
  5. Baidu Map
  6. Shein
  7. Clash of Kings
  8. DU Battery Saver
  9. Helo
  10. Likee
  11. YouCam Makeup
  12. Mi Video Call – Xiaomi
  13. Mi Community
  14. CM Browsers
  15. WeChat
  16. Virus Cleaner
  17. APUS Browser
  18. ROMWE
  19. Club Factory
  20. NewsDog
  21. Beutry Plus
  22. UC News
  23. QQ Mail
  24. Weibo
  25. Xender
  26. QQ Music
  27. QQ Newsfeed
  28. Bigo Live
  29. SelfieCity
  30. Mail Master
  31. Parallel Space
  32. WeSync
  33. ES File Explorer
  34. Viva Video – QU Video Inc
  35. Meitu
  36. Vigo Video
  37. New Video Status
  38. DU Recorder
  39. Vault Hide
  40. Cache Cleaner – DU App Studio
  41. DU Cleaner
  42. DU Browser
  43. Hago Play With New Friends
  44. CamScanner
  45. Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile
  46. Wonder Camera
  47. Photo Wonder
  48. QQ Player
  49. We Meet
  50. Sweet Selfie
  51. Baidu Translate
  52. Vmate
  53. QQ International
  54. QQ Security Center
  55. QQ Launcher
  56. U Video
  57. V fly Status Video
  58. Mobile Legends
  59. DU Privacy

In the official notice shared with the media, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) says it has “received many complaints from various sources including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India.” The ministry, as well as the cybersecurity team CERT-In, received recommendations of apps to be banned from various agencies. The notice says the banned apps will now be “disallowed” from mobile and non-mobile, internet-enabled devices.

Many of the 59 Chinese apps banned in India are available to download from Google’s Play Store for Android phones and Apple’s App Store for iPhones and iPads. People who already have some of these apps on their phones should be able to use them; however, whether the government stops their functioning altogether remains to be seen.

Among the list of banned Chinese apps, the popular apps include TikTok, CamScanner, ShareIt, Helo, Likee, Xender, UC Browser, Clash of Kings, ES File Explorer, DU Cleaner, Clean Master, and Mobile Legends. Interestingly, Tencent’s WeChat has been banned under the new order but the same company’s PUBG — inarguably the most popular smartphone game in India — has not been included in the list.

This official ban comes 10 days after intelligence agencies reportedly shared a list of 52 apps of Chinese origin that posed a security threat. At the time, it was reported that the intelligence agencies told the government that these apps were extracting user data to foreign servers and that the agencies had asked the government to either ban these apps or advise users against them.