PubG ban: Ministry of Information & Technology on September 2 banned the popular online game PUBG along with 117 other mobile applications including WeChat Work and WeChat among others. This decision comes against the backdrop of tension between India and China in eastern Ladakh.

This is the third round of restrictions or ban on mobile apps imposed by India in the past two months amidst rising tension with the Chinese army. 

On June 29, the government had banned 59 apps including TikTok, and a month later it had banned another 47 apps. The fresh list of banned apps includes WeChat Work, AliPay, AlipayHK, Mobile Taobao Baidu, U-Dictionary, Live U, Parallel Space Lite, Game of Sultans, AppLock, Gallery HD, and Ludo All-Star.

The new ban comes amid the escalated tension between India and China following Beijing’s provocation in the Ladhak region.

“This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security, and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace,” said  India’s IT ministry in a statement.

It added, “The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 118 mobile apps since in view of the information available they are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, the security of the state and public order.”

According to Meity, it received several complaints from various sources including reports about the misuse of these apps available across iOS and Android. The complaints alleged stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which possibly had locations outside India.

The ban on the 118 apps will open opportunities for local entrepreneurs to build and scale similar apps. The ban on TikTok had triggered a race among established companies and new players to launch clones of TikTok, Bigo Live, Vigo, and other popular but now banned apps in the short video space. 

The government said that the ministry has received many 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 in an unauthorized manner to servers that have locations outside India.

“The compilation of these data, it’s 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 statement noted.

The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps, the government said.

Check out the list of newly banned 118 applications:

1.    APUS Launcher Pro- Theme, Live Wallpapers, Smart
2.    APUS Launcher-Theme, Call Show, Wallpaper, HideApps
3.    APUS Security -Antivirus, Phone Security, Cleaner
4.    APUS Turbo Cleaner 2020- Junk Cleaner, Anti-Virus
5.    APUS Flashlight-Free & Bright
6.    Cut Cut – Cut Out & Photo Background Editor
7.    Baidu
8.    Baidu Express Edition
9.    FaceU – Inspire your Beauty
10.    ShareSave by Xiaomi: Latest gadgets, amazing deals
11.    CamCard – Business Card Reader
12.    CamCard Business
13.    CamCard for Salesforce
14.    CamOCR
15.    note
16.    VooV Meeting – Tencent Video Conferencing
17.    Super Clean – Master of Cleaner, Phone Booster
18.    WeChat reading
19.    Government WeChat
20.    Small Q brush
21.    Tencent Weiyun
22.    Pitu
23.    WeChat Work
24.    Cyber Hunter
25.    Cyber Hunter Lite
26.    Knives Out-No rules, just fight!
27.    Super Mecha Champions
28.    LifeAfter
29.    Dawn of Isles
30.    Ludo World-Ludo Superstar
31.    Chess Rush
32.    PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik
34.    Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
35.    Art of Conquest: Dark Horizon
36.    Dank Tanks
37.    Warpath
38.    Game of Sultans
39.    Gallery Vault – Hide Pictures And Videos
40.    Smart AppLock (App Protect) 
41.    Message Lock (SMS Lock)-Gallery Vault Developer Team
42.    Hide App-Hide Application Icon
43.    AppLock
44.    AppLock Lite
45.    Dual Space – Multiple Accounts & App Cloner
46.    ZAKZAK Pro – Live chat & video chat online
47.    ZAKZAK LIVE: live-streaming & video chat app
48.    Music – Mp3 Player
49.    Music Player – Audio Player & 10 Bands Equalizer
50.    HD Camera Selfie Beauty Camera
51.    Cleaner – Phone Booster
52.    Web Browser & Fast Explorer
53.    Video Player All Format for Android
54.    Photo Gallery HD & Editor
55.    Photo Gallery & Album
56.    Music Player – Bass Booster – Free Download
57.    HD Camera – Beauty Cam with Filters & Panorama
58.    HD Camera Pro & Selfie Camera
59.    Music Player – MP3 Player & 10 Bands Equalizer
60.    Gallery HD
61.    Web Browser – Fast, Privacy & Light Web Explorer
62.    Web Browser – Secure Explorer
63.    Music player – Audio Player
64.    Video Player – All Format HD Video Player
65.    Lamour Love All Over The World
66.    Amour- video chat & call all over the world.
67.    MV Master – Make Your Status Video & Community
68.    MV Master – Best Video Maker & Photo Video Editor
69.    APUS Message Center-Intelligent management 
70.    LivU Meet new people & Video chat with strangers
71.    Carrom Friends : Carrom Board & Pool Game-
72.    Ludo All Star- Play Online Ludo Game & Board Games
73.    Bike Racing : Moto Traffic Rider Bike Racing Games
74.    Rangers Of Oblivion : Online Action MMO RPG Game
75.    Z Camera – Photo Editor, Beauty Selfie, Collage
76.    GO SMS Pro – Messenger, Free Themes, Emoji
77.    U-Dictionary: Oxford Dictionary Free Now Translate
78.    Ulike – Define your selfie in trendy style
79.    Tantan – Date For Real
80.    MICO Chat: New Friends Banaen aur Live Chat karen
81.    Kitty Live – Live Streaming & Video Live Chat
82.    Malay Social Dating App to Date & Meet Singles
83.    Alipay
84.    AlipayHK
85.    Mobile Taobao
86.    Youku
87.    Road of Kings- Endless Glory
88.    Sina News
89.    Netease News 
90.    Penguin FM
91.    Murderous Pursuits 
92.    Tencent Watchlist (Tencent Technology 
93.    Learn Chinese AI-Super Chinese 
94.    HUYA LIVE – Game Live Stream 
95.    Little Q Album 
96.    Fighting Landlords – Free and happy Fighting Landlords
97.    Hi Meitu
98.    Mobile Legends: Pocket
99.    VPN for TikTok
100.    VPN for TikTok
101.    Penguin E-sports Live assistant
102.    Buy Cars-offer everything you need, special offers and low prices
103.    iPick
104.    Beauty Camera Plus – Sweet Camera & Face Selfie
105.    Parallel Space Lite – Dual App
106.    “Chief Almighty: First Thunder BC
107.    MARVEL Super War NetEase Games
108.    AFK Arena
109.    Creative Destruction NetEase Games
110.    Crusaders of Light NetEase Games
111.    Mafia City Yotta Games 
112.    Onmyoji NetEase Games
113.    Ride Out Heroes NetEase Games
114.    Yimeng Jianghu-Chu Liuxiang has been fully upgraded
115.    Legend: Rising Empire NetEase Games
116.    Arena of Valor: 5v5 Arena Games
117.    Soul Hunters
118.    Rules of Survival