Govt blocks PUBG, 117 other mobile apps over security concerns
Player Unknown's BattlegroundsImage: IANS

Govt blocks PUBG, 117 other mobile apps over security concerns

New Delhi, September 2, 2020

The Government today banned 118 mobile applications over national security concerns, including the popular PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) Mobile, Baidu and a couple of virtual private networks (VPNs) that allowed access to Tik Tok that had been banned some weeks ago.

The apps have been banned because they are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, the defence of India, the security of the state and public order, an official press release said.

The release from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had invoked its power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats to block the 118 mobile apps.

It said information was available that they were "engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".

"The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources including several 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," it said.

The release said the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs had also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these "malicious apps".

"Likewise, there have been similar bipartisan concerns, flagged by various public representatives, both outside and inside the Parliament of India. There has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against Apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens," it said.

"On the basis of these and upon receiving of recent credible inputs that information posted, permissions sought, functionality embedded as well as data harvesting practices of above stated Apps raise serious concerns that these Apps collect and share data in surreptitious manner and compromise personal data and information of users that can have a severe threat to security of the State.

"In the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India and security of the State, and using the sovereign powers, the Government of India has decided to block the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet enabled devices," it said.

"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 release said.

The following are the apps:

APUS Launcher Pro- Theme, Live Wallpapers, Smart

APUS Launcher -Theme, Call Show, Wallpaper, HideApps

APUS Security -Antivirus, Phone security, Cleaner

APUS Turbo Cleaner 2020- Junk Cleaner, Anti-Virus

APUS Flashlight-Free & Bright

Cut Cut – Cut Out & Photo Background Editor

Baidu

Baidu Express Edition

FaceU - Inspire your Beauty

ShareSave by Xiaomi: Latest gadgets, amazing deals

CamCard - Business Card Reader

CamCard Business

CamCard for Salesforce

CamOCR

InNote

VooV Meeting - Tencent Video Conferencing

Super Clean - Master of Cleaner, Phone Booster

WeChat reading

Government WeChat

Small Q brush

Tencent Weiyun

Pitu

WeChat Work

Cyber Hunter

Cyber Hunter Lite

Knives Out-No rules, just fight!

Super Mecha Champions

LifeAfter

Dawn of Isles

Ludo World-Ludo Superstar

Chess Rush

PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik

PUBG MOBILE LITE

Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade

Art of Conquest: Dark Horizon

Dank Tanks

Warpath

Game of Sultans

Gallery Vault - Hide Pictures And Videos

Smart AppLock (App Protect)

Message Lock (SMS Lock)-Gallery Vault Developer Team

Hide App-Hide Application Icon

AppLock

AppLock Lite

Dual Space - Multiple Accounts & App Cloner

ZAKZAK Pro - Live chat & video chat online

ZAKZAK LIVE: live-streaming & video chat app

Music - Mp3 Player

Music Player - Audio Player & 10 Bands Equalizer

HD Camera Selfie Beauty Camera

Cleaner - Phone Booster

Web Browser & Fast Explorer

Video Player All Format for Android

Photo Gallery HD & Editor

Photo Gallery & Album

Music Player - Bass Booster - Free Download

HD Camera - Beauty Cam with Filters & Panorama

HD Camera Pro & Selfie Camera

Music Player - MP3 Player & 10 Bands Equalizer

Gallery HD

Web Browser - Fast, Privacy & Light Web Explorer

Web Browser - Secure Explorer

Music player - Audio Player

Video Player - All Format HD Video Player

Lamour Love All Over The World

Amour- video chat & call all over the world.

MV Master - Make Your Status Video & Community

MV Master - Best Video Maker & Photo Video Editor

APUS Message Center-Intelligent management

LivU Meet new people & Video chat with strangers

Carrom Friends : Carrom Board & Pool Game-

Ludo All Star- Play Online Ludo Game & Board Games

Bike Racing : Moto Traffic Rider Bike Racing Games

Rangers Of Oblivion : Online Action MMO RPG Game

Z Camera - Photo Editor, Beauty Selfie, Collage

GO SMS Pro - Messenger, Free Themes, Emoji

U-Dictionary: Oxford Dictionary Free Now Translate

Ulike - Define your selfie in trendy style

Tantan - Date For Real

MICO Chat: New Friends Banaen aur Live Chat karen

Kitty Live - Live Streaming & Video Live Chat

Malay Social Dating App to Date & Meet Singles

Alipay

AlipayHK

Mobile Taobao

Youku

Road of Kings- Endless Glory

Sina News

Netease News

Penguin FM

Murderous Pursuits

Tencent Watchlist (Tencent Technology

Learn Chinese AI-Super Chinese

HUYA LIVE – Game Live Stream

Little Q Album

Fighting Landlords - Free and happy Fighting Landlords

Hi Meitu

Mobile Legends: Pocket

VPN for TikTok

VPN for TikTok

Penguin E-sports Live assistant

Buy Cars-offer everything you need, special offers and low prices

iPick

Beauty Camera Plus - Sweet Camera & Face Selfie

Parallel Space Lite - Dual App

Chief Almighty: First Thunder BC

MARVEL Super War NetEase Games

AFK Arena

Creative Destruction NetEase Games

Crusaders of Light NetEase Games

Mafia City Yotta Games

Onmyoji NetEase Games

Ride Out Heroes NetEase Games

Yimeng Jianghu-Chu Liuxiang has been fully upgraded

Legend: Rising Empire NetEase Games

Arena of Valor: 5v5 Arena Games

Soul Hunters

Rules of Survival

IANS adds:

The PUBG game, which has more than 600 million downloads and 50 million active players globally, has millions of users, especially young, in India.

PUBG Mobile saw a global revenue gain of $1.3 billion (roughly Rs 9,731 crore) in the first half of this year, bringing its lifetime collection to $3 billion (nearly Rs 22,457 crore) with the highest number of downloads in India which ranks at the top with 175 million installs as people stayed home owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns.

PUBG was not banned in India earlier as it is not entirely Chinese. The game has been created and managed by Bluehole which is a South Korean organisation.

After PUBG became popular, Tencent -- a Chinese conglomerate -- joined hands with Bluehole to market the product in China and started handling a large portion of its distribution. The game is distributed in India by Tencent Holdings.

The ban on PUBG came as it announced the arrival of a new gaming era with its 1.0 version, along with global mobile esports tournament PUBG Mobile Global Championship (PMGC) with a grand prize pool of $2 million (about Rs 15 crore).

Other popular banned apps in the fresh list of banned apps are Baidu and Baidu Express Edition, ShareSave by Xiaomi, WeChat Work, Tencent Weiyun, Tencent Watchlist, Alipay, GO SMS Pro, ZAKZAK Pro and Live, Smart AppLock and Ludo World-Ludo Superstar, among others.

In July, the government barred 47 Chinese apps from operating in the country, which were largely clones of the previously 59 apps banned in June.

On June 29, the government banned 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, WeChat and UC Browser and Xiaomi's Mi Community over national security concerns amid the border tussle in Ladakh which led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers in the Galwan Valley clash with Chinese PLA troops.

Other Chinese apps in the banned list were Club Factory, SHAREit, Likee, Mi Video Call (Xiaomi), Weibo, Baidu, BIGO LIVE and more.

NNN

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