India blocks a bunch more Chinese apps

The Indian government has decided to block 118 mobile apps that it thinks threaten national security.

The list seems to consist of mainly, if not entirely, apps of Chinese origins. The announcement doesn’t make any reference to the nationality of the apps, but you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to join the dots. India started banning Chinese apps a couple of months ago and this looks a lot like the latest round of that purge.

“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,” says the government announcement.

“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.”

All the talk of emergency seems overblown, but it’s hardly unprecedented for politicians to exaggerate the importance of their pet projects. The decision not to name China specifically may have been a concession to diplomacy, but that’s unlikely to placate their touchy neighbour. With Taiwan getting closer to the US by the day, China is rapidly running out of regional allies.

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