Google temporarily blocks access to banned apps in India
Google on Thursday said it has temporarily blocked access to those apps that were still available on the Play Store in India even after the government banned 59 apps this week.
"While we continue to review the interim orders from the Government of India, we have notified the affected developers and have temporarily blocked access to the apps that remained available on the Play Store in India," a Google spokesperson said.
However, the spokesperson did not disclose details of the apps that Google had blocked.
According to sources, developers of many of the 59 banned apps had taken down their apps from Google Play Store voluntarily.
India on Monday banned 59 apps with Chinese links, including TikTok, UC Browser, SHAREit, and WeChat, saying they were prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity, and security of the country.
In an official statement, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said it has received many complaints from various sources, including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for "stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an unauthorised manner to servers, which have locations outside India."
The government on Tuesday directed all internet service providers to block 59 Chinese mobile apps under emergency clause of the IT Act, according to sources.
"Order to block all 59 Chinese apps to internet service providers have been issued now," a telecom ministry source told PTI.
"The government has issued web link along with IP addresses, which will make Internet service providers to easily block the access to Chinese apps," an industry source said.
Following the government's decision, many Indian business leaders and tech startups have welcomed the move, saying it will spur home-grown tech innovations and provide an opportunity for Indian tech startups and companies to build better alternatives to the banned Chinese apps.
The Confederation of All India Traders ( CAIT) also complimented Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Government of India for such a massive step of banning 59 Chinese applications, which will be a big support to CAIT’s Boycott Chinese Goods campaign.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)