Today saw Indian authorities ban 118 apps, including the hugely popular PUBG Mobile. The apps were accused of activities “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order”.
That’s the claim of the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, as spotted by Medianama.
The newly banned apps join a growing list, with TikTok and WeChat among the names that are no longer welcome in Indian app stores.
“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 defense 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,” the Ministry said in a statement.
The Ministry says that the bans were put in place in part because there were concerns about the privacy implications of some of these apps. TikTok in particular has been an app of interest in multiple countries, with the United States also threatening a ban on the social network because of its ties to the Chinese authorities.
The banning of PUBG will be a big blow to its owner, Chinese company Tencent, as well as gamers. With Fortnite no longer available to iPhone and iPad users, PUBG Mobile was the go-to game. It was already hugely popular in India, even before Fortnite’s demise.
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