July 14, 2020

India bans 60 Chinese apps, including TikTok, but enforcement of ban unclear

India has now officially instituted a ban on dozens of apps that originate from China. However, how will it enforce the ban?

Tiktok stock photo on smartphone

Credit: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

  • India has officially instituted a Chinese app ban which specifically targets 60 applications.
  • Among the apps is the insanely popular TikTok as well as some other favorites of Android users.
  • India hasn’t given any indication for how it will enforce this ban, though, making it largely symbolic for now.

Today, the Indian government officially instituted a Chinese app ban which bans 60 apps. Some of the apps are relatively unknown but a few of them are incredibly popular, including the worldwide phenomenon TikTok.

We learned the news via Twitter, but we had heard rumblings of a Chinese app ban in the country as early as two weeks ago.

In a statement on the matter, the Ministry of Electronics & IT says the apps in question are “engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.� You can see the full statement in images below as well as the tweet where we found the info:

Chinese App Ban Statement Page 1 Chinese App Ban Statement Page 2

There are exactly 60 applications part of the Chinese app ban, most of which we were sure would appear on the official list, However, there are a few we didn’t expect.

India Chinese app ban: The official list

  1. TikTok
  2. Mi Community
  3. Weibo
  4. WeChat
  5. SHAREit
  6. Clash of Kings
  7. DU recorder
  8. YouCam Makeup
  9. DU Battery Saver
  10. DU Browser
  11. DU Cleaner
  12. DU Privacy
  13. DU Recorder
  14. Clean Master – Cheetah
  15. Cache Cleaner
  16. DU Apps Studio
  17. Baidu Translate
  18. Baidu Map
  19. QQ Launcher
  20. QQ Security Centre
  21. QQ Player
  22. QQ Music
  23. QQ Mail
  24. QQ NewsFeed
  25. WeSync
  26. QQ International
  27. New Video Status
  28. V Fly Status Video
  29. Mobile Legends
  30. Vmate
  1. ES File Explorer
  2. Mi Video call-Xiaomi
  3. Parallel Space
  4. SelfieCity
  5. Mail Master
  6. Vault-Hide
  7. Vigo Video
  8. Bigo Live
  9. UC News
  10. UC Browser
  11. BeautyPlus
  12. Xender
  13. ClubFactory
  14. Helo
  15. LIKEE
  16. Kwai
  17. ROMWE
  18. SHEIN
  19. NewsDog
  20. Wonder Camera
  21. Photo Wonder
  22. APUS Browser
  23. VivaVideo- QU Video Inc
  24. CM Browser
  25. Virus Cleaner (Hi Security Lab)
  26. Meitu
  27. Hago Play With New Friends
  28. Cam Scanner
  29. We Meet
  30. Sweet Selfie

Unfortunately, although the statement makes it clear which apps are part of this Chinese app ban, it doesn’t at all make clear how India will enforce this new policy. As far as we can tell, all the apps above are still available on the Google Play Store and will continue to work on people’s phones who already have them downloaded.

Related: Google Play Store: A definitive guide for beginners

In addition, some of the apps above are stock apps that come with devices, specifically the Xiaomi-branded apps. It would be difficult to remove stock apps like these, even with a Play Store removal, so would that make the phone itself banned, too?

It’s very possible this is just a symbolic ban, but we have reached out to Google to find out if the company has any plans for following this new Chinese app ban for India. We will let you know if the company gets back to us with a statement.

In the meantime, if you are in India and use one of the apps above you are technically violating the ban — but, without any listed repercussions for doing so, we don’t know how serious of a “crime� that is.

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