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Baidu Search, Sina Weibo on ‘Secret List’ of Chinese Apps Banned in India’s Latest Purge

By Ding Yi / Aug 05, 2020 06:04 PM / World

India has blocked Chinese search engine Baidu Search and social media platform Weibo in a fresh round of its tech purge taking aim at apps New Delhi believes might “harm” its “sovereignty and integrity”.

The move comes after India imposed a ban on 59 Chinese apps including ByteDance’s TikTok, Tencent’s WeChat and Alibaba’s UC Browser on June 29, citing national security concerns.

Baidu Search and Weibo are among 47 apps on a secret list that the Indian government banned on July 27, the Times of India reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.

Unlike the first ban, the apps subject to the second ban have not been announced. The Times of India reports they are mostly clones and different versions of some of the first round of apps, including TikTok Lite, Likee Lite and Bigo Live Lite. The apps were targeted because they were said to participate “in activities prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity and defense of India as well as the security of state and public order”.

An official source told the Times of India that the Indian government is also considering blocking more apps in the future.

Since the first Indian app ban in June, the U.S. has threatened to block some Chinese social media apps due to national security concerns, with the Trump administration tightening the screws on TikTok by asking it to sell its U.S. business by mid-September in exchange for an opportunity to continue to operate there.

Last week, a group of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers said that they will urge the government to limit the use of TikTok on the grounds that the app could mishandle sensitive information.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (dingyi@caixin.com)

Related: Bytedance Founder Doubts Probe Intentions as Company Poised to Sell U.S. TikTok Under Duress


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