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Tuesday, 28 July 2020

The government banned 47 clone apps out of 59 Chinese apps previously banned; Will 275 apps including PUBG also be banned?

On June 29, 59 and July 24, the government banned 47 Chinese apps, bringing the total number of banned Chinese apps in the country to 106.

This app is banned for providing operational ethics or user data to Chinese intelligence agencies.

All 47 apps that have been banned are clone apps of the 59 previously banned apps


The central government banned 59 Chinese apps in India on June 29. The government also banned clone apps of all these apps on Monday. A total of 106 Chinese apps are now banned in India. The government is now monitoring 275 Chinese apps, including PUBG and AliExpress. All these apps can also be banned. What is a clone app? How dangerous are these apps for the country?


What is the decision of the government and why was it taken?

The Ministry of Information and Technology banned 47 Chinese apps on July 24. All these apps were clones of the apps that were banned on June 29.

The reason for banning these apps is the 'operational ethics' of the apps. So these apps were being monitored.

"Operational ethics" means that these apps were leaking user data to Chinese intelligence agencies. This poses a threat to national security.

Under Chinese law, native Chinese companies share data with Chinese intelligence agencies even if their operations are outside the country.

Based on that, the government on June 29 banned a total of 59 Chinese apps, including TikTalk, Sherite, UC Browser and Cam Scanner.

The ban was imposed after a violent clash in the Galvan Valley on the Indo-China border. It killed 20 Indians on June 15.

These apps were banned under Section 66A of the IT Act. It was among the top 10 in the country in the list of many app downloads, including TikTok.


Why ban on 47 clone app? Why was it not banned earlier?

The 47 clone apps that were banned included apps including TikTok Lite, Hello Lite, Sherite Lite, Bigo Lite and vfy Lite.

When the government banned 59 apps, the number of downloads of its cloned apps with the same features as the previously banned apps started increasing and it came under the government's radar.

Some of the apps that matched the apps, including TikTok, Sherite and Camscanner, were included in the top-10 list in downloads on the Google Play Store.

Based on this, an investigation was carried out and the monitoring revealed that these 47 apps were also delivering data to China's intelligence agencies.


Will the popular game PUBG also be banned?

Now news is flowing that PUBG may also be banned. According to sources, 275 apps, including PUBG (Player Unknown Battlegrounds), are on the radar.

PUBG is popular in many countries including India. In India alone, the app has received 175 million downloads.

PUBG is developed by South Korean video game maker Bluehole. However, it has the participation of Chinese multinational company Tencent.

This was also previously targeted at the PUBG app. Some children's addictions have made their parents bored. Some states temporarily banned it.

PUBG assured at the time that it would work with parents, educators and government agencies to create a safe ecosystem.


Which other apps besides PUBG are included in the list?

The list of 275 apps includes PUBG, Xiaomi's Zili, Alibaba Group's AliExpress and Resso as well as Baitdance's Ulike.

These apps are on the government's radar due to data sharing and privacy concerns. However, so far it has not been banned.

The list includes Xiaomi's less popular apps Capcom, FaceU, Meetu, Lbe Tech, Perfect Corp, Netiz Games and Yuzu Global.

The list also includes the Helsinki-based Supersell app, which has been invested in by Chinese companies. Sina Corp is a similar app.

Why ban even if the app is not from China?


According to National Cyber ​​Security Coordinator Rajesh Pant, the company may be based in Singapore but its server is in China and China is collecting users' data.

There is a risk that the original Chinese companies have invested in companies that own tech companies or apps. These companies force app developers to share data with the Chinese government.

The government has decided to ban these apps. The concerned ministry has been asked to enact a law for continuous investigation of apps in India.

An official of the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology claimed that a committee has been formed to announce the ban.

Is a Chinese app being banned abroad like in India?


According to Sanjay Singh, a partner at J Sagar Associates, this trend is being seen in many countries globally in terms of data security of its citizens.

By 2020, the number of smartphone users in India will cross 44 crore. In such a situation, the Government of India has recognized the security of the data of its citizens.

Many large companies in China, including telecom, OTT, are linked to the government. Because of this, Chinese companies are being opposed on the issue of data security.

Complaints of theft from the Chinese app are being raised in the United States as well as in Australia and other countries. However, so far no one has banned an app like India.

What is an app clone?


App clone means creating a new app by copying its design and concept based on another website or app theme.

But cloning does not mean that it is made like the original, but it is made new by taking its idea and adding a unique feature to it.

App cloning is very popular and many app development companies are doing just that. Copies of popular apps like Uber, Ola, Lift etc. have been made.

Redesigning any app takes time and investment. To avoid this, new companies always clone the old app.

The reality is that even a successful app like Facebook is a copy of an app, but its unique feature has made it a success.

Is cloning of the app legal?


Yes. As long as an app designer does not infringe the IP, copyright, patent and trademark of the existing business, it is legally valid.

In fact, cloning and app cloning are different. It is understood that the entire app is not being copied but only the idea is being stolen.

A new app can be created by customizing the readymade clone script. This saves development time. In addition, the costs are lower.

Is this Indian action against China?


Yes. Last week, India's General Financial Rules 2017 was amended. It has become difficult for Chinese companies to participate in the tender process in India.

The order said that vendors of the country sharing a border with India can participate in the tender only if they have registered with a competent authority.

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has formed a committee for registration. It also requires security clearance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs.

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