New Delhi: The Indian government’s move to ban 43 more Chinese mobile apps is going to affect China’s Digital Silk Route projects. The Digital Silk Route is the technology which is equivalent to the BRI project, the Belt and Road Initiative which China has started to get an edge as a global technology and economic giant. Also Read - Bolsonaro Likens COVID-19 Vaccine to 'Sanjeevani Booti', Thanks PM Modi After Consignment of Covishield Arrives in Brazil
The BRI project of China attempts to connect Asia with Africa and Europe with land and maritime networks along six corridors. This is basically done to boost trade in the region. China has also made agreement with 16 other countries and has been investing its own resources to create a digital framework abroad. This includes optical cable lines, data hubs and other critical infrastructure projects which China needs to control the global digital discourse. And at this time when India, being a major player in the region, has blocked a number of mobile apps of China, it is definitely going to affect the trade ambitions of Beijing. Also Read - China Warms Up To Joe Biden, Asks Him To Bring Bilateral Ties Back on Right Track
Notably, the ban from India comes in the backdrop of border tensions with China in Ladakh. The latest apps which were banned on Tuesday include Alibaba Group Holding’s e-commerce app AliExpress. The banned applications, which include a few dating apps, were a threat to the “sovereignty and integrity of India”, the central government said. Also Read - China Sanctions Trump Officials, Including Mike Pompeo, Hours After Biden Takes Over as President
The Ministry of Electronics and IT issued the order for blocking the access of these apps by users in India based on the comprehensive reports received from Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Center, Ministry of Home Affairs, the release said.
Earlier on June 29 this year, the government had blocked access to 59 mobile apps and on September 2, another 118 apps were banned under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act.
These apps included popular gaming app PUBG, TikTok, UC Browser, Baidu, Baidu Express Edition, Tencent Watchlist, FaceU, WeChat Reading and Tencent Weiyun.
The latest list of 43 mobile apps include AliSuppliers Mobile App, Alibaba Workbench, AliExpress, Alipay Cashier, CamCard (Business Card Reader), Snack Video, and several dating apps such as WeDate, Chinese Social, TrulyChinese, ChinaLove, DateMyAge, FlirtWish and Guys Only Dating.
Other apps that have been blocked include Tubit, WeWorkChina, First Love Live, Rela, Cashier Wallet, Jellipop Match, Munchkin Match and Happy Fish.
Notably, India’s fourth ban on Chinese apps brought the total number of apps banned in India to 267.