The Ministry of Defence in India has issued an order to the Indian armed forces asking its officers and all security personnel to uninstall a number of Chinese apps that have been categorized as ‘spyware.’ According to reports over 42 Chinese apps are considered as ‘spyware’ by the Ministry of Defence.
It turns out that the list of banned apps include Truecaller – an immensely popular app for caller ID detection. However in a statement to India Today, Truecaller clarified that it was in fact a Sweden based app and the makers are unsure about why the app is among those listed. "In response to certain reports, we would like to clarify that we are a Sweden based company. We are not sure why the app is on this list, but we're investigating. Truecaller is not a malware, and all our features are permission based and are disabled by default," a Truecaller spokesperson told India Today.
According to reports, there are increasing concerns over the use of apps designed by China-based companies in India, and the data that these apps gain access to on smartphones. Reports also mention that the Indian government had asked about 30 big phone makers to explain how they were collecting data from phones sold in the country and how the data was being used.
The Indian government seems to be particularly concerned about apps and devices that collect user data and then send some of its data, to China based servers. Chinese devices and the pre-built software within them are widely available in the market. Sometimes uninstalling these errant apps may be impossible.A complete list of the all the banned apps are as follows:Weibo, WeChat, SHAREit, Truecaller, UC News, UC Browser, BeautyPlus, NewsDog, VivaVideo- QU Video Inc, Parallel Space, APUS Browser, Perfect Corp, Virus Cleaner (Hi Security Lab), CM Browser, Mi Community, DU recorder, Vault-Hide, YouCam Makeup, Mi Store, CacheClear DU apps studio, DU Battery Saver, DU Cleaner, DU Privacy, 360 Security, DU Browser, Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile, Baidu Translate, Baidu Map, Wonder Camera, ES File Explorer, Photo Wonder, QQ International, QQ Music, QQ Mail, QQ Player, QQ NewsFeed, WeSync, QQ Security Centre, SelfieCity, Mail Master, Mi Video call-Xiaomi, and QQ Launcher.