Daily Management Review

India Takes Aim At China Tech, Bands 59 Chinese Apps Including Tencent's PUBG


India Takes Aim At China Tech, Bands 59 Chinese Apps Including Tencent's PUBG
After an initial hot to Chinese technology companies in June by banning 59 Chinese apps and following that up with more bans on clones of those apps, the Indian government now has banned 118 more Chinese mobile apps in the country, which includes the popular videogame PUBG from Tencent Holdings, amid a standoff between the two countries at their Himalayan border.
Various mobile applications from Baidu and Xiaomi’s ShareSave are also included in the latest list of 188 banned Chinese apps.
The announcement of the ban came a day after reports of Indiana troops get themselves deployed at four strategic hilltops in the Ladakh region on the Indo-Chinese Himalayan border following claims made by Indian government sources that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China tried an incursion into territory claimed as their own by India in the same region.
There were no comments on the ban available from Tencent as well as the Chinese embassy in New Delhi.
The latest apps that were banned posed a threat to the sovereignty and security of India, said the country’s technology ministry.
The ministry said in a statement that these Chinese “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.”
The latest ban is a major blow for Tencent’s business in India because its PUBG game, a battle royale game, has been very popular in the Indian market. According to estimates of apps analytics firm SensorTower, in terms of PUBG downloads India tops the list in the world with about 175 million downloads and installs which accounted for about 24 per cent of the total global downloads of the game.
In June this year, 59 Chinese apps, including ByteDance’s popular video-sharing app TikTok, Tencent’s WeChat and Alibaba’s UC Browser were banned in India after a flare off between Indian and Chinese troops on the Himalayan border in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed. That move by the Indian government in June as described as a “digital strike” by India’s technology minister at that time.
There were reports last month about the plans of the Indian government to ban more Chinese apps in the country. 
Business operations of several Chinese companies in India have been stalled because of the prohibitions by the Indian government. The bans and prohibitions have forced one of the major backers of Indian tech startups – Alibaba, to put on hold all plans to invest in the country since the six months, claimed reports.
There will be more declines in Chinese investments because of the risk sudden changes in the business environment, says tech analysts.
“The app bans not only give a negative signal to Chinese firms and investors already in India, but even those waiting for a favourable climate to invest in India may now back off now,” said Atul Pandey, a partner at law firm Khaitan & Co who has advised several Chinese clients.