‘Banning Chinese apps a digital strike’: Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also underlined, much like PM Modi did, that India is for peace but if “somebody casts an evil eye we will give a befitting reply”.Updated: Jul 02, 2020 13:16 IST
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said New Delhi’s decision to ban 59 China-linked apps days after violent brawl between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley was a “digital strike”.
“We banned Chinese apps to protect data of countrymen; it was a digital strike,” the telecom and IT minister was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.
This is the first time a minister has described the ban as a “strike” against China. On social media, many drew a comparison with India’s air strike, carried out in response to the Uri attack, against Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camps in Pakistan’s Balakot.
The minister also underlined, much like PM Modi did, that India is for peace but if “somebody casts an evil eye we will give a befitting reply”.
Some of the banned apps are TikTok, UC Browser, CamScanner, WeChat, Weibo, Baidu Map, Xender, among others.
Indian intelligence agencies had been pushing for restrictions on the mobile applications on grounds that the apps were designed to extract data and park them outside the country where they could be used to intrude into the privacy of citizens.
Chinese companies have long been suspected of building backdoors in their hardware and software, one reason why many governments across the world have been uneasy at the prospect of deploying Chinese-made 5G networking equipment.
On Wednesday, Prasad said the ban on Chinese mobile apps is a great opportunity to help Indians come up with good apps of their own and end foreign dependence for such things.
“In the wake of the ban which we have imposed...I think it is a great opportunity. Can we come up with good apps made by Indians? Let the dependence on foreign apps, with their own agenda for a variety of reasons, stop,” the minister said yesterday.
A statement from the information technology ministry said the decision was taken as these applications were “engaged in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.
Beijing on Tuesday said it was “strongly concerned” about New Delhi’s decision to ban Chinese mobile applications. It stressed on cooperation between the two countries and underlined that the ban would go against “India’s interests”.