India is not done banning Chinese apps. The world’s second-largest internet market, which has banned more than 175 apps with links to the neighboring nation in recent months, said on Tuesday it was banning an additional 43 such apps.
Like with the previous orders, India cited cybersecurity concerns to block these apps. “This action was taken based on the inputs regarding these apps for engaging in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order,” said India’s IT Ministry in a statement.
The ministry said it issued the order to block these apps “based on the comprehensive reports received from Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Center, Ministry of Home Affairs.”
The apps that have been banned include Tencent-backed popular short video service Snack Video, which had surged to the top of the chart in recent months, as well as e-commerce app AliExpress, delivery app Lalamove and shopping app Taobao Live. The full list is here. At this point, there doesn’t appear to be any Chinese app left in the top 500 apps used in India.
Tuesday’s order comes as a handful of apps, including PUBG Mobile and TikTok, both of which identified India as their biggest overseas market, are exploring ways to make a return to the country. In recent weeks, PUBG has registered a local entity in India, partnered with Microsoft for computing needs, and publicly vowed to invest $100 million in the country. It is yet to hear from the government, people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.
Tensions between the world’s two most populous nations escalated after more than 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a military clash in the Himalayas in June. Ever since, “Boycott China” sentiment has trended on social media in India as a growing number of people post videos demonstrating destruction of Chinese-made smartphones, TVs and other products.
In April, India also made a change to its foreign investment policy that requires Chinese investors — who have ploughed billions of dollars into Indian startups in recent years — to take approval from New Delhi before they could write new checks to Indian firms. The move has significantly reduced Chinese investors’ presence in Indian startups’ deal flows in the months since.