The Indian government has clarified that a viral message claiming that the National Informatics (NIC) Order under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) has prohibited certain Chinese apps from being made available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store is fake.
In a tweet, the PIB (Press Information Bureau) Fact Check, which is the government’s official fact-checker, dubbed the viral message as fake, saying that no such instructions were given to Google or Apple by the MeitY or NIC.
Claim: A viral message of an order allegedly from NIC claims that @GoI_Meity has prohibited some apps from being made available on App Stores. #PIBFactCheck: The Order is #Fake. No such instruction has been given by @GoI_MeitY or NIC. pic.twitter.com/Dt7rMR7nIz
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) June 19, 2020
The fake message circulated on the social media claimed that the Indian Government has directed the regional executive and representatives of Google and Apple to “restrict the functioning of Chinese applications from the respective stores with immediate effect”.
The prohibited Chinese-origin apps include TikTok, VMate, Vigo Video, LiveMe, Bigo Live, Beauty Plus, CamScanner, Club Factory, Shein, Romwe, and AppLock, as well as game apps like Mobile Legends, Clash of Kings, and Gale of Sultans. It also claimed that the government has asked Apple and Google to restrict TikTok from their respective app stores.
According to the message, these apps are alleged to put users’ privacy at risk and compromise the “sovereignty of the country.
The fake order comes amid rising anti-China sentiments in the country due to the border disputes and social media uproar over the ban of Chinese apps and products.
Earlier this month, Google had removed the Remove China Apps application, which had crossed over 50 lakh downloads over a short period, from Google Play citing violations of its deceptive behaviour policy.