Banning Chinese Apps : A Delayed Step Finally Taken For The Best
China's threat has increased widely in India in the field of smartphones to apps. Many serious consequences were beginning to emerge. In such a situation, India has also indicated to the world by banning the Chinese app that everyone should be wary of the Chinese app.
This is also going to send the message that governments around the world should get Chinese apps checked whether such apps are a threat to national security. India has also given a message to China that if it takes the wrong steps against India, it will be given a befitting reply on the military as well as the economic front.
In the wake of the ongoing conflict with China in Ladakh, the government has taken strict action against China and has banned 59 mobile apps which have links with China. This list also includes popular apps like UC Browser, Hello, Share It. The central government has said that these apps are dangerous in terms of sovereignty, integrity, and national security of the country. Servers for these Chinese apps exist outside India. Through them, users' data was being stolen.
In fact, there was an unprecedented increase in Chinese app dominance in India's app-based economy. In 2017, only 18 of the 100 most used apps in India recorded in the Google app were from China. But after that, within a year or so, in 2018, the number of China's apps reached 44 of India's top-rated 100 apps.
The government has banned these Chinese apps under Information Technology Act section 69A. For the last few days, concern was being expressed about the privacy and data security of 130 crore Indians. Also, it was clear from the complaints received by the government that some Chinese mobile apps on Android and IOS platforms are being misused.
These apps were secretly and illegally stealing user data and sending it to servers outside India. India has been emphasizing data localization for the last several years. Earlier, it has been the RBI's effort to keep all financial data in the country. In such a situation, this new decision of the government will make the Indian concept of data localization more detailed than before. The Indian Cybercrime Coordination Center also recommended the Ministry of Home Affairs to immediately ban dangerous Chinese apps.
The Computer Emergency Response Team also received complaints of data theft and privacy threats. The government says that it has been decided to discontinue the use of some apps used in mobile and non-mobile Internet-enabled devices only on the basis of reliable information.
According to the report of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, there are about 75 crore smartphone users in India. This is why India is the largest app market in the world. Last year, most of the worldwide apps were installed in India. In the first three months, more than four and a half billion apps were downloaded, of which Ticketock was the highest. TicketTalk has been downloaded nearly 60 million times in India.
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It has at least 200 million unique users in India. 30 percent of its total users are in India. TikTok was behind Facebook in terms of revenue, but in terms of the user base, it outpaced the giant companies like Facebook. TikTok's giant Indian market was dreaming of challenging its master company Byte Dance Facebook.
In just three months between October to December 2019, the company received revenue of 25 crores from this app, while between July and September this year, the company had set a revenue target of Rs 100 crores, which has now become a dream. 10 percent of this app's revenue was from India only.
China's apps have come under the supervision of the Indian government several times. Especially during the Doklam dispute with China in 2017 and again during the 2019 general elections. In December 2017, the Ministry of Defense of India directed the military forces to remove 42 Chinese apps from their own country, as the Indian government felt that spyware or viruses were installed in these apps.
China's mobile apps have been the subject of controversy for a long time. Two big and unprecedented information was leaked from China in November 2019. It was learned from these that China is keeping a large number of Uighur Muslims under house arrest in its Xinjiang province. Many intelligence agencies say that the Communist Party of China enlisted the help of two popular apps, Japaya and WeChat, to identify and target the Weigar Muslims.
Similarly, China's startup Megavi came into the limelight early last year when the US Department of Commerce blacklisted the company. The US had alleged that the Chinese government was using the face recognition technology of this company to monitor Veigar Muslims. Face's customers also have a popular photo editing app camera 360 etc. which have been popular in India.
The US Army has given instructions to Army staff to remove TikTok from the phone in the last year, fearing a cyber attack. The US Navy also ordered the removal of it from its staff mobile phones. In February 2020, the Transport Service Administration of America also ordered its employees to remove TikTok. In India too, the Madras High Court last year banned TikTok for a few days, but later withdrew the decision.'
China's mobile manufacturer Xiaomi is ranked number one in India. It has captured more than a quarter of the country's market. China's second mobile company, Vivo, has a 20 percent share of the Indian market. According to a report by Counterpoint Research, China's Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, and Realme hold about 66 percent of the Indian smartphone market.
The Chinese mobile companies will have to keep a close watch on the Indian government that they cannot transfer data. There are allegations against Xiaomi that he provides data via mobile to the Chinese Communist Party. Therefore, in the field of mobile also, the country has to become self-sufficient.
China has also carried out cyber attacks by making its apps a tool. Agencies defending the Indian Internet domain are facing cyber attacks of Chinese hackers amid the ongoing India-China clash on the Line of Actual Control.
Almost every sector and cyber platform in India is under attack from China, North Korea, and Pakistan. Hacking efforts being carried out from these three countries are carrying out different tasks. Due to Chinese apps, China is executing such attacks quite easily.
China is using internet protocol hijacking attacks through apps. In this, Chinese hackers divert online traffic of a website or internet account to China and reach the target. This type of cyber attack is expected to reduce at least after stopping these apps. In addition, hackers use a different strategy under the denial of service attack.
Under this, if a utility provider website has the ability to accept requests of only one thousand people, hackers take the capacity to hack it to 1 million, so that the entire system crashes. China does this type of cyber attack with North Korea or Pakistan. In the midst of all this, the countries of America and Europe should also consider that when India can ban its apps due to improper antics of China, then why can't they do so. These countries should also start thinking about this.
According to the Maharashtra Cyber Department, in the last week, there has been a very sensitive cyber attack on China's banking sectors, infrastructure, information technology sectors from China. In the last four-five days, China has carried out more than 40 thousand cyber-attacks. In addition, hackers are also using the name Corona. In these attacks, most of the attempts have been made to misuse the data through unauthorized access and interrupt the system. In most attacks, users were targeted through the Covid-19 tag.
China's ban on 59 apps is also basically protection of the right to privacy. The Honorable Supreme Court has recognized the right to privacy as a fundamental right. The Supreme Court has associated it under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Article 21 provides life and physical freedom. In this way, along with living a dignified life, the right to privacy is also included. Chinese apps were constantly attacking the privacy of Indians. From this point of view, this decision is welcome.