Govt Of India Will Ban These 54 Chinese Apps Due To National Security Threat
Today, India banned 54 Chinese apps including Garena’s battle royale mobile game Free Fire and several of Chinese gaming giant NetEase’s gaming titles that pose a threat to the country’s security, according to the ministry of electronics and information technology.
Why Would This Happen?
While explaining the reason for the ban, the ministry said “These 54 apps allegedly obtain various critical permissions and collect sensitive user data. These collected real-time data are being misused and transmitted to servers located in hostile countries,” in a statement.
It is noteworthy here that the government has banned only the standard version of Free Fire called ‘Free Fire: Illuminate’ while ‘Free Fire Max’ continues to be available on Google Play at the time of writing this article.
On the other hand, Apple has removed both the versions.
Coming to Free Fire, it has interestingly benefited from the ban of PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) Mobile in September 2020 and became the highest grossing app across Google Play and Apple’s App Store in 2021.
This way, the game had clocked about $34.3 million in app spend last year, as per the estimates by app intelligence firm Sensor Tower.
Banned Chinese Apps
Beside these,the list of banned apps include – Sweet Selfie HD, Beauty Camera – Selfie Camera, Garena Free Fire – Illuminate, Viva Video Editor, Tencent Xriver, Onmyoji Arena, AppLock and Dual Space Lite.
Please note here that India was the top market for Free Fire in terms of downloads accounting for about 26% of the game’s overall downloads.
According to Sensor Tower, the game had 24 million installs as of December 2021.
This concludes that 40 million of the game’s 70 million monthly active users are also in India, as per the report.
Apart from these, NetEase is China’s second largest gaming company after Tencent, who witnessed several of its games suspended as part of this ban.
This ban list includes Onmyoji Arena, Onmyoji Chess, Astracraft, UU Game Booster, Extraordinary Ones, Badlanders, Twilight Pioneers, and Stick Fight: The Game Mobile.
Prior to this, the firm has also witnessed similar bans of its games in the earlier wave of Chinese app suspensions in the country.
Compliance With The Government Order
Google said they are complying with the government order, in a statement.
Further adding that “On receipt of the interim order passed under Section 69A of the IT Act, following established process, we have notified the affected developers and have temporarily blocked access to the apps that remained available on the Play Store in India,”.
With the latest ban, the total Chinese apps banned by the Indian government fell to 274 apps in less than two years.