The government, on Thursday, sent a list of 50 questions to the 59 banned Chinese apps, asking them about their owners and countries of incorporation, sources told Economic Times.
Last week, India banned 59 Chinese apps, including popular ones such as TikTok, UC Browser and WeChat, citing threats to data security. The ban came in the wake of growing anti-China sentiment in the country following border clashes between the two countries in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley.
According to sources, the questions asked from the banned applications are to help the government understand the financial structure of the companies which own the apps, the parent company, beneficial owners, country of incorporation of the company, board of directors and location of data servers.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), in its interim order on June 29, banned the Chinese apps as they were engaged in activities “prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India.”
TikTok Says No Plan To Pursue Legal Action
The government later said that the banned applications would be given an opportunity to present their case, according to the provisions in Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, under which the apps had been banned.
TikTok India, one of the 59 applications banned by the government’s order, has since argued that the company is committed to working with the government and addressing its concerns and has no plans of pursuing legal action against the ban. The company also said that they were complying with the country’s data security regulations.
Government representatives have largely hailed the ban. IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad termed it a “digital strike”, adding that the banned Chinese applications were engaged in shipping the data of Indian users offshore.
Prasad also urged Indian app-makers to develop indigenous products to end the country’s reliance on foreign technologies that push their own agenda. The ban is expected to give further impetus to the government’s ‘Make in India’ and ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ or ‘Self-Reliant India’ initiatives. According to an Inc42 report, Indian apps billed as alternatives to ByteDance-owned TikTok, such as Trell, Mitron and Chingari, have seen a surge in downloads after the ban on Chinese apps.