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India bans 59 Chinese apps: How does the ban impact pre-installed apps?

When TikTok was banned last year, people who had the app pre-installed on their devices could still use it. However, it won't be the same this time around.

June 30, 2020 / 04:49 PM IST

The central government recently banned 59 Chinese apps in retaliation to the border tension between India and China in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley. As for the reason of the ban, the government stated that it was “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.

Except for TikTok, which was taken down from Google Play Store and Apple App Store, most of the banned apps, including Shareit, UC Browser, WeChat, etc., are still available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. It could take some time before all 59 apps have been removed from the two app stores. But what happens if a banned is pre-installed or already downloaded on your smartphone?

If you have any of the 59 Chinese apps that have been banned, it will likely be disabled soon. Government authorities are currently in talks with Indian telecom and internet service providers to block all data traffic with these apps. Once the process is completed, Internet access will be blocked for these apps on all Indian networks, which will make the apps inoperable.

The banned apps will continue to remain on your smartphone and can either be deleted or disabled.

How to delete Chinese apps from your phone?


Head to Settings > App Management > App List > Then Tap on Uninstall

You can follow the same procedure to disable a Chinese app. But rather than hit “Uninstall”, you’ll have to select “Disable”. Some apps are pre-installed on your phone by default and can only be disabled.

It is worth noting that it is not illegal to have any one of these banned Chinese apps on your smartphone. You do not have to delete them, but they will not receive further developer support and updates. The government will also block internet access to them in the future.

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Carlsen Martin
first published: Jun 30, 2020 11:38 am
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