The Indian government has issued fresh orders to ban over 54 Chinese apps, terming them as “a threat to privacy and security of Indians”, local media The Economic Times reported on Monday.

The Ministry of Electronics and IT– which issued the latest ban order on the grounds that these apps were “transferring sensitive data of Indians to servers in foreign countries such as China”– has directed app stores including Google’s Playstore to block these applications.

Quoting officials aware of the development, it was reported that a number of these apps belong to the Chinese technology firms such as Tencent, Alibaba, and NetEase and are “rebranded or rechristened avatars” of apps that have been banned in the country beginning from 2020.

“The 54 apps have already been blocked from being accessed in India through the PlayStore,” an official was quoted as saying.

According to The Economic Times, since June 2020, the Indian government has banned around 224 Chinese apps, starting with about 59 apps in the first round, including ByteDance’s TikTok, Tencent’s Wechat, Shareit, Helo, among others. The ban followed a skirmish with Chinese troops at a disputed Himalayan border site when 20 Indian soldiers were killed, Reuters reported in January last year.

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