Earlier this year, India had banned 59 Chinese apps, including popular options such as TikTok, CamScanner and Shein. On Monday, several others were added to the list.
India has banned 47 more apps with links to China, most being clones or from the same parent company whose main applications were banned last month, a source said.
But can you still use these apps? The Aam Aadmi Party, well known for its strong Twitter presence took on another heavyweight on Monday evening, sharing a notice and alleging that the BJP was using a banned app.
To give a bit of context, the party had shared a notice regarding a party appointment. The notice had been scanned into a digital copy, seemingly with the use of CamScanner app.
"BJP using banned Chinese Apps?" the AAP wondered.
The AAP also tagged a post by BJP Leader and national spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain that included the notice with part of the phrase "scanned with CamScanner" visible in the corner.
This post has now been deleted. Hussain has re-posted the notice without the phrase anywhere to be seen now.
But is it wrong to be using the app? In a moral sense, this is debatable, since it was the BJP government that had cited security concerns to ban the app in the first place.
While the apps are no longer available on the Google Play store and its counterparts, those who have it already installed in their phones have thus far been able to continue using some of these apps, even as the option for updating has been removed. Ideally, Internet Service Providers and telecom operators would have to blacklist or ban all host and domain names associated with the apps -- something the government is working on.
Thus far, there is no penalty that stops people from using the banned apps. The onus has been put on the said companies who were earlier warned by the IT Ministry that continued availability and operation of the banned apps, directly or indirectly, would be an offence under the Information Technology Act and other applicable laws, and would attract penal provisions.
(With inputs from agencies)