India bans Tencent’s PUBG app as it takes aim at China tech

FILE PHOTO: Smartphone with Chinese applications is seen in front of a displayed Indian flag in this illustration picture taken July 2, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India on Wednesday banned another 118 mobile apps including Tencent Holdings’s popular videogame PUBG, as it stepped up the pressure on Chinese technology companies following a standoff with Beijing at the border.

The list of 118 mostly Chinese apps also includes applications from Baidu and Xiaomi’s ShareSave.

These “apps collect and share data in a surreptitious manner and compromise personal data and information of users that can have a severe threat to the security of the State,” India’s technology ministry said in a statement.

It added the apps threatened India’s sovereignty and integrity.

Tencent declined to comment, while the Chinese embassy in New Delhi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The latest ban comes a day after a senior Indian official said troops were deployed on four strategic hilltops after what New Delhi called an attempted Chinese incursion along a disputed Himalayan border.

Tension between nuclear-armed India and China has simmered since June when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a border skirmish with Chinese troops.

New Delhi has since begun eroding China’s dominant position in India’s internet economy. It began with a ban on 59 apps, which included ByteDance’s popular video-sharing app TikTok, Alibaba’s UC Browser and Xiaomi’s Mi Community app.

Following that ban in June, New Delhi outlawed some mobile apps of Chinese companies, such as Xiaomi and Baidu, sources told Reuters last month.

This prohibition on about 47 apps comprised mostly clones, or different versions of the already-banned apps, but also some new apps.

(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal, Philip George and Chandini Monnappa; Additional reporting by Pei Li; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Barbara Lewis)



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