NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India on Wednesday prohibited another 118 mobile apps including Tencent Holdings’ popular videogame PUBG, as it stepped up the pressure on Chinese technology business following a standoff with Beijing at the border.
The list of 118 mainly Chinese apps also includes applications from Baidu and Xiaomi’s ShareSave.
The restriction was announced a day after a senior Indian authorities stated soldiers were released on four strategic hilltops after what New Delhi called an attempted Chinese attack along a contested Himalayan border.
Tencent declined to discuss the statement and the Chinese embassy in New Delhi did not immediately react to an ask for remark.
India’s technology ministry said the apps were a hazard to India’s sovereignty and security.
These “apps collect and share data in a surreptitious way and compromise personal information and information of users that can have a severe risk to the security of the state,” the ministry said in a declaration.
The restriction is a blow for Tencent in India whose PUBG, a fight royale game, is a smash-hit in the nation. India ranks No. 1 worldwide in terms of PUBG downloads, accounting for approximately 175 million installs, or 24 percent of the overall, apps analytics firm SensorTower says.
India first prohibited 59 Chinese apps, consisting of ByteDance’s popular video-sharing app TikTok, Tencent’s WeChat and Alibaba’s UC Internet browser, in June.
That relocation, which India’s innovation minister described as a “digital strike”, followed a skirmish with Chinese troops at a challenged Himalayan border website in June when 20 Indian soldiers were eliminated.
Stress have simmered between New Delhi and Beijing since and sources informed Reuters last month of another restriction of 47 mostly clone apps.
India’s restrictions have stalled service operations of a number of Chinese companies in India. They have also forced Alibaba, a major backer of Indian tech start-ups, to postpone all strategies to purchase the country for a minimum of 6 months, Reuters reported in August.
Tech experts say there is a threat the sudden modification in business environment will deter Chinese financial investment more normally.
” The app bans not just provide an unfavorable signal to Chinese companies and investors already in India, however even those waiting for a favourable environment to invest in India might now back off now,” stated Atul Pandey, a partner at law practice Khaitan & Co who has actually advised a number of Chinese clients.
Additional reporting by Philip George, Chandini Monnappa and Pei Li; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Barbara Lewis
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