As Indian government has banned 59 Chinese Apps, the US on Tuesday designated two Chinese companies- Huawei Technologies Company and ZTE Corporation as “national security threats”. Announcing this on Twitter, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai stated that the money from the FCC’s Universal Service Fund worth Rs.8.3 billion dollars cannot be used to buy, improve or support any equipment or services provided by these suppliers. This decision was taken after receiving inputs from the US Congress, Executive Branch, intelligence community, allies, and communications service providers.
Pai stressed that Huawei and ZTE have close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and China’s military apparatus. According to him, both companies being subject to Chinese law obligates them to cooperate with the nation’s intelligence services. The FCC Chairman observed that this was a clear message that the US government would not permit the Chinese Communist Party to exploit vulnerabilities in the US communications network and exploit the critical communications infrastructure. Pai added that this action shall protect the FCC’s Universal Service Fund from being used to underwrite these suppliers, which threaten the US’ national security.
BREAKING NEWS: The @FCC has designated #Huawei and #ZTE as companies posing a national security threat to the United States. As a result, telecom companies cannot use money from our $8.3B Universal Service Fund on equipment or services produced or provided by these suppliers. 1/5 pic.twitter.com/dH6QK4jbd4
— Ajit Pai (@AjitPaiFCC) June 30, 2020
Amid the tensions with China at the LAC, the Ministry of Information Technology on Monday invoked its power under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 to ban 59 Chinese Apps. Revealing that the Ministry of Information Technology had received many complaints of some Apps stealing and transmitting user data to servers located outside India, the Centre stated that this was a matter of deep concern that required emergency measures. Moreover, there had been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against Apps which harm the country’s sovereignty and the privacy of citizens.
According to the Union government, this was a targeted move to ensure the safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace. The banned Apps include TikTok, Shareit, Kwai, UC Browser, Baidu map, Shein, Clash of Kings, DU battery saver, Helo, Likee, YouCam makeup, Mi Community, CM Browers, We Chat, UC Browser, Virus Cleaner, DU Cleaner etc. These 59 Apps will be barred for usage in mobile and non-mobile internet-enabled devices.