PUBG Banned in India: Hours after the Central government banned 118 Chinese mobile applications, including the hugely popular PUBG, Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday said those applications had issues around security, surveillance and data privacy of Indian users. Also Read - Farm Bills Row: Will Consider Revoking Suspension Only After MPs Apologise, Says Ravi Shankar Prasad

“Today we have also banned 118 more apps which were a problem for your security, surveillance and data privacy,” Prasad said while addressing a virtual conference of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum. Also Read - After India Ban, Will The USA Ban PUBG? Donald Trump Aiming at Gaming Companies Tied to Tencent

Defending the Centre’s stand, the IT minister said that India is a country which sees the highest number of mobile application downloads and now the government has started focusing on ‘Made in India’ apps. Also Read - PUBG Mobile: Top Slangs Used in PUBG, We Bet You Didn’t Know Yet!

He further added that Samsung, contract manufacturers and other firms have committed to make mobile phones and components in India worth USD 153 billion in the coming five years.

He also said the government will connect 6 lakh villages in the next 1,000 days with optical fibre network as announced by PM Modi.

The statement from the IT minister comes after the Central government on Wednesday banned 118 more mobile apps with Chinese links, including popular game PUBG, citing threat to national security.

This takes the total count of Chinese-linked mobile apps banned by India to 224. The 118 apps banned on Wednesday include Baidu, Baidu Express Edition, Alipay, Tencent Watchlist, FaceU, WeChat reading, Government WeChat, Tencent Weiyun, APUS Launcher Pro, APUS Security, Cut Cut, ShareSave by Xiaomi, and CamCard, besides PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite.

The Centre in a statement said that it had received numerous complaints from various sources, including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data to servers outside India.

“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,” the Centre said.

Earlier on June 29, the government had banned 59 Chinese apps, including hugely popular TikTok and UC Browser, saying they were prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and security of the country.

In July, the Centre again had blocked 47 more Chinese apps that were clones and variants of the ones banned earlier.

The centre in the statement also added that there has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as citizens’ privacy.

Welcoming the ban, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said the move is a major milestone step against misdeeds of China and will certainly boost the morale of the country.