The central government has banned 348 apps till date, owing to them collecting Indian users' data and transmitting to servers outside the country for profiling of users, said union minister of state for electronics and information technology (IT), Rajeev Chandrasekhar. In response to a query in the Parliament by Rodmal Nagar, member of Lok Sabha of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Chandrasekhar added that a number of these apps banned in India had links to servers located in China.
"Based on the request from the ministry of home affairs, the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) blocked those mobile applications since such data transmissions infringe the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of the country and security of the state," Chandrasekhar said in his response.
The statement comes days after the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) banned access to Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), a popular mobile video game built by Korean developer, Krafton. While the government did not offer a statement clarifying the ban, it was reportedly enforced under Section 69A of the Indian Information Technology Act, 2000.
In June 2020, Meity had also banned Playerunknown's Battlegrounds Mobile (PUBG Mobile), the precursor to BGMI. Subsequent to the ban, Krafton removed its collaboration with Chinese internet conglomerate Tencent, a promoter of PUBG Mobile, and relaunched it under the BGMI guise.
Other notable apps that have been banned in India till date include e-commerce platform Shein, and viral short video social media app, TikTok. Most of these bans have been enforced so far citing Section 69A of the IT Act.
According to the law, the Indian government holds the power to ban entities in India, "in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above."