The affected apps – AliExpress included – have been cited as privacy concerns, and many hold ties to China.
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On Tuesday 25th November, India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued a statement outlining how 43 ecommerce, streaming, and lifestyle and dating apps have been banned from the Play Store and App Store. Amongst the affected apps are Alibaba Workbench, Snack Video, and WeDate, as well as a number of LGBT specific dating services.
According to the MEITY press release, the order to block the public's access to the apps is "based on the comprehensive reports received from Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Center, Ministry of Home Affairs".
Section 69A of the Information Technology Act allows the government to prohibit access to apps it has deemed a national security threat. As such, the apps must be removed from the Play Store and App Store, and Indian ISPs will be obligated to prevent public access to the services unless instructed otherwise.
This isn't the first occurrence of the Indian Government banning apps and citing privacy concerns, as 59 Chinese apps were made inaccessible on June 29th. 47 more were banned in July (for allegedly being duplicates of these blocked services), and 118 additional apps followed suit in September. This brings the total number of banned apps to 267 – and plenty of hugely popular services made the list, including TikTok and PUBG Mobile.
The ban highlights a growing tension between India and China, after a military skirmish in the Himalayas led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers. The clash occurred in June, and after subsequent negotiations failed to deescalate the situation, there have been numerous calls in India across social media to boycott Chinese-made goods and services.
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Here's the full list of all 43 apps that are now banned in India:
- AliSuppliers Mobile App
- Alibaba Workbench
- AliExpress – Smarter Shopping, Better Living
- Alipay Cashier
- Lalamove India – Delivery App
- Drive with Lalamove India
- Snack Video
- CamCard – Business Card Reader
- CamCard – BCR (Western)
- Soul- Follow the soul to find you
- Chinese Social – Free Online Dating Video App & Chat
- Date in Asia – Dating & Chat For Asian Singles
- WeDate-Dating App
- Free dating app-Singol, start your date!
- Adore App
- TrulyChinese – Chinese Dating App
- TrulyAsian – Asian Dating App
- ChinaLove: dating app for Chinese singles
- DateMyAge: Chat, Meet, Date Mature Singles Online
- AsianDate: find Asian singles
- FlirtWish: chat with singles
- Guys Only Dating: Gay Chat
- Tubit: Live Streams
- First Love Live- super hot live beauties live online
- Rela – Lesbian Social Network
- Cashier Wallet
- MGTV-HunanTV official TV APP
- WeTV – TV version
- WeTV – Cdrama, Kdrama&More
- WeTV Lite
- Lucky Live-Live Video Streaming App
- Taobao Live
- Identity V
- Isoland 2: Ashes of Time
- BoxStar (Early Access)
- Heroes Evolved
- Happy Fish
- Jellipop Match-Decorate your dream island！
- Munchkin Match: magic home building