An image of what seemed like a notice from the National Infromatics Centre stated that the government has prohibited Chinese apps from Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. However, the Press Bureau of India has come forward to clarify that it was fake and the government has not issued any such notice.
The Press Bureau of India through a tweet claimed that “The Order is Fake. No such instruction has been given by GoI_MeitY or NIC.” The order being circulated on WhatsApp and other platforms seems to have mimicked previous notifications from the NIC to make it look original.
The notice also contained a list of applications that were apparently prohibited from any of the two application stores. The list included LiveMe, Bigo Live, Vigo Video, Beauty Plus, CamScanner, Clash of Kings, Mobile Legends, TikTok, Club Factory, Shein, Romwe, AppLock, Vmate and Game of Sultans.
The recent clashes between China and India in Ladakh have fanned a strong sentiment against Chinese goods. Chinese apps were the first to be targetted. Popular apps like TikTok started getting cloned into an Indian version. The apps rose to the top charts as many prominent personalities promoted these alternatives.
Now, Chinese companies that sell hardware and software in India are under fire. Indian CEO’s of Chinese brands in the country have been consistently being trolled on social media for trying to sell Chinese products. The fake notice about the Indian government trying to prohibit Chinese apps was also targeted towards building an anti-China sentiment.