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GS-III :

Appropriate strategy: On India banning more China apps

  • 06 September, 2020

  • 8 Min Read

Appropriate strategy: On India banning more China apps

Context

  • The Indian government has banned more than hundred China-based apps.

Reasons for this ban:

  • It was banned under section 69A of the Information Technology Act.
  • The government has decided to block mobile apps since these apps are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the state and public order.
  • The release further notes that the IT Ministry has received many complaints from various sources about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers that have locations outside India.

Impacts due to smartphones:

  • Smartphone makers have launched or were planning speciality phones aimed at attracting PubG players.
  • Asus ROG Phone 3, Nubia RedMagic and BlackShark are among the gaming-focused phones that come with overclocked processors, high-refresh-rate screens and features tailored for gaming such as liquid cooling or internal fans.
  • Most of this market is for the hardcore PUBG users with the game clocking over 33 million active users in India.
  • The ban will certainly have an impact on sales of gaming-centric phones.
  • The effect of the ban could be felt on chipmakers like Qualcomm and MediaTek who have been aggressively marketing AI-infused mobile System-on-Chip (SoC) designed specifically for gaming smartphones.
  • Both companies in recent days have launched chips optimised for mobile gaming — the Snapdragon 732G and Helio G95 respectively.

India’s stand on China:

  • Escalating tensions between India and China along the border is allowing India to send a clear message to China that it will not shy away from leveraging its position as a massive market for technology in dealing with potentially dangerous geopolitical issues.
  • India has warned China of “consequences” if the status quo ante is not restored on the border. Beijing has not backed down yet, despite the military movements, diplomatic warnings and trade measures already taken.
  • Multiple points of pressure need to be applied on many levels and over a long period of time. Digital action is only one of them.

China’s stand:

  • China said that the move is neither beneficial to the Indian users or the Chinese businesses.
  • China, which is known for censorship of information, keeping foreign apps off its internet, has found a rare chance to take the moral high ground.

Way forward:

  • The Indian approach should have followed due process, where the focus was on ensuring compliance with the Indian law.
  • India as a country aspires to hold the global leadership on technology, working on rules and networking. Going forward India needs a more considered approach to tech regulation.
  • China must decide if it wants to rescue the relationship or ruin it.
  • This also presents a significant opportunity for local companies, particularly those operating in the e-commerce, social media and gaming sectors to come up with Indian alternatives.

 

Source: TH

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