It only feels like yesterday when a similar press release was issued by the Press information bureau, on 2nd September 2020, informing about the blocking of public access of 188 Apps under section 69A of Information technology act,  which banned the very popular mobile game in India, PUBG. One can’t forget about another the other similar order which blocked the access of another 59 apps in June, including the popular short video content based Social Media Platform TikTok and several other popular platforms including Shien, Camscanner, Shareit etc, either. The 24th of November became another such day when public access to several other applications,43 to be specific, was blocked by the MeITY through the powers conferred to them under Section 60A of the IT Act,2000

Reasons for the Blocking of public access

In the previously published press releases, a bit more descriptive approach was adopted to inform the public, the reasons as to why the public access of these applications was being taken away. The reasons for these blockades were the several complaints received by the Certi-in and the Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, highlighting that certain apps were “stealing” and “surreptitiously transmitting” user data, to servers which were located outside the border the nation. ‘Breach of privacy’ and ‘security concerns’ were the fundamental concerns raised in the order as these issues could lead to ‘profiling’ of certain elements which could affect the national security and disrupt the public order. It is interesting to note that the term “privacy of citizens” was highlighted throughout the order passed by the MEITY. However, in the present order, no such issue of privacy has been stated by the MEITY through their press release. The notification simply mentions the reason for the same to be the receipt of several inputs regarding these apps for engaging in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order.

Apps which were banned

Among the list of apps being blocked, which includes Several Dating Apps,  AliExpress and Snackvideo are most popular and have more than 100 million installs each. Aliexpress is an e-commerce platform which is very popular all around the world in terms of faster delivery and affordable prices. While snackvideo is a Short video sharing social media platform just like TikTok and gained popularity after TikTok was banned in India. The notification mentions the following Apps which are to be Blocked.

  1. AliSuppliers Mobile App
  2. Alibaba Workbench
  3. AliExpress – Smarter Shopping, Better Living
  4. Alipay Cashier
  5. Lalamove India – Delivery App
  6. Drive with Lalamove India
  7. Snack Video
  8. CamCard – Business Card Reader
  9. CamCard – BCR (Western)
  10. Soul- Follow the soul to find you
  11. Chinese Social – Free Online Dating Video App & Chat
  12. Date in Asia – Dating & Chat For Asian Singles
  13. WeDate-Dating App
  14. Free dating app-Singol, start your date!
  15. Adore App
  16. TrulyChinese – Chinese Dating App
  17. TrulyAsian – Asian Dating App
  18. ChinaLove: dating app for Chinese singles
  19. DateMyAge: Chat, Meet, Date Mature Singles Onlin
  20. AsianDate: find Asian singles
  21. FlirtWish: chat with singles
  22. Guys Only Dating: Gay Chat
  23. Tubit: Live Streams
  24. WeWorkChina
  25. First Love Live- super hot live beauties live online
  26. Rela – Lesbian Social Network
  27. Cashier Wallet
  28. MangoTV
  29. MGTV-HunanTV official TV APP
  30. WeTV – TV version
  31. WeTV – Cdrama, Kdrama&More
  32. WeTV Lite
  33. Lucky Live-Live Video Streaming App
  34. Taobao Live
  35. DingTalk
  36. Identity V
  37. Isoland 2: Ashes of Time
  38. BoxStar (Early Access)
  39. Heroes Evolved
  40. Happy Fish
  41. Jellipop Match-Decorate your dream island!
  42. Munchkin Match: magic home building
  43. Conquista Online II

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