Indian Intelligence agencies have issued a list of mobile apps that originate from or have links to China, asking the Indian government to issue an advisory against the use of all the 52 apps in the list. The agencies have cited security and privacy concerns overuse of these Android and iOS apps in India.
According to a report published in Hindustan Times that cites “people familiar with the development”, this list of apps with links to China is supported by the National Security Council Secretariat that feels that these applications ‘could be detrimental to India’s security”.
The report also mentions a government official saying that the discussions on the list issued by intelligence agencies are ongoing which indicates that an official decision could be announced very soon. Having said that, the list contains names of many popular apps such as TikTok, SHAREit, Club Factory and more that drive the social and e-commerce business in India. Other apps from the list include games like Clash of Kings, photography apps like BeautyPlus and more.
Here’s the full list of apps issued by the Indian Intelligence agencies that have been sent to the government.
The list of apps issued by the Indian intelligence agencies includes social media apps such as TikTok, Weibo, WeChat, Helo, LIKE, Kwai, Bigo Live and Vigo Video. Out of these apps, TikTok owned by Bytedance is the most popular one with over 200 million active users from India. Vigo Video, on the other hand, is also owned by Bytedance but the company recently announced that it will be discontinuing the app in India by October 31.
TikTok has been at the receiving end of a lot of controversies in India and the latest one saw the popular short-video platform’s rating on the Play Store fall to 1.3 stars.
Xiaomi, one of the most popular and dominating companies in the Indian smartphone market pre-installs Mi Video Call, Mi Community and Mi Store apps on its phones. All these three apps have been red-flagged by the Indian agencies even though Xiaomi has migrated all its local data to datacenters based in India and has been using Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure since 2018 for storing Indian users data.
The list also contains names of four browsers that have been deemed to be a security risk by the intelligence agencies. These include the UC Browser, APUS Browser, CM Browser and DU Browser. UC Browser is a fairly popular web browser for smartphones used by Indians. Similarly, Alibaba owned news aggregator UC News is also amongst the apps along with NewsDog.
Some of the e-commerce apps that have made it to the list include Club Factory, SHEIN and ROMWE. File sharing tools like SHAREit and Xender are also a part of the recommendation list with the former having over 200 million active user base.
There are several photo editing apps on the list that have been red-flagged as well. These include Beauty Plus, Photo Wonder, YouCam Makeup, Wonder Camera and SelfieCity.
Other apps including utilities and launches include Vault-Hide, VivaVideo- QU Video Inc Perfect Corp, Virus Cleaner (Hi Security Lab), DU recorder, 360 Security, DU Battery Saver, DU Browser, DU Cleaner, DU Privacy, Clean Master – Cheetah, DU Cache Cleaner, Baidu Translate, Baidu Map, ES File Explorer, QQ International, QQ Launcher, QQ Security Centre, QQ Player, QQ Music, QQ Mail, QQ NewsFeed, WeSync, Clash of Kings, Mail Master and Parallel Space.