Intelligence agencies have handed over a list of 52 mobile applications to the Government of India. Intel agencies have asked the government to either block these applications or advise people to avoid using them. These applications are reportedly linked to China.
According to a report in India Today, the list contains some popular apps such as Zoom and TikTok. The list that was reportedly prepared in April also includes some commonly used apps such as UC Browser, Xender, SHAREit and Clean-master. Shopping portals such as Shein and Club Factory and gaming apps such as Clash of the Kings have also made it to the list, as per the news site.
The list of apps has been endorsed by the National Security Council Secretariat. The reasons to zero in on these apps are mostly privacy-related. Intel services cited reports that such apps extract a large amount of data.
This development has come when some Indians are already calling for a ban on Chinese products. Additionally, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has released a list of 500 Chinese items for boycotting. The list includes FMCG products, consumer durables, toys, furnishing fabrics, textiles, builder hardware, footwear, apparel, kitchen items, among others. CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that the aim is to reduce import of Chinese-finished goods by $13 billion by December 2021.
The government is also likely to direct telecom firms such as BSNL and MTNL to avoid Chinese equipment. The Department of Telecom has directed all entities under its purview to purchase ‘Made in India’ goods.
Moreover, Chinese companies that have bagged contracts for projects in the country may face trouble in the coming days. The Centre is looking at several tough economic measures against China. In a move that can spell trouble for Chinese stakes in Indian companies, the Centre is looking at projects where work orders have not yet been allotted following the financial bidding. The first casualty of this approach could be Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Co Limited (STEC) that successfully bid for the construction of an underground stretch of Delhi-Meerut RRTS (Regional Rapid Transit System) project. The government is also reportedly looking at the eligibility criteria for Indian contracts.