. The Government of India banned 118 Chinese apps in july 2020, including the popular video game Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), as tension with the neighbouring country continued to escalate at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Referring to the apps ban, Lieutenant General Harbhajan Singh PVSM, and former Signal officer-in-chief of the Indian Army says “This is symbolism which is very important. These apps are very dangerous because the Chinese can put any bug in the software. When you play games on your phone or on various sites, you send millions of messages to those sites and China can track where the messages are coming from, and that can cause harm to an individual and the nation as a whole.”
banning the apps is the most visible indication of India’s slow decoupling from China, as it has both an emotional and an economic impact. “India is a net importer from China, mostly of finished and semi-finished goods. Our exports are low-value items. The Chinese have seen an opportunity to invest and have brought in FDI of about Rs 2 lakh crore. Millions of Indians are influenced by these apps and it affects their everyday working and leisure time, and the ban is therefore a conspicuous and noticeable statement of political intent.
The Galwan Valley incident in June brought home the fact that the Chinese cannot be trusted, whatever their Ambassador, statesmen or spokespersons in Beijing may say. China is apt to act in a manner which suits it in a given moment, irrespective of any treaties, understandings or the International Law.