ISPs call for ban on websites of China-backed companies

Internet service providers have called upon the government to scrutinize and ban more apps, and even websites of companies who are largely backed by Chinese shareholders, saying banning 59 apps is not enough and the government needs to do more to send a message to China.

"We support the government's action of blocking 59 Chinese apps and they should be more aggressive and go beyond these 59 apps. They should block websites, corporate assisted websites and send out a strong message," said Rajesh Chharia, president of Internet Services Providers Association of India (ISPAI). He however didn’t name any company whose website the body wants banned in India.

He said that data security is a major concern and that more such measures will impact China's economy. He also added that this will help provide the opportunity for the Indian startups sector to come up with apps that cater to needs of the customers.

On Monday, Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps, which included likes of TikTok, citing threats to national security, and prior to that, had warned of increased cyber security threats.

The ban has been imposed under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009, it said. The government also cited complaints about data on Indian users being transferred abroad without authorisation.

The industry body with 100 plus members is awaiting instructions from the telecom department after which it will hold a meeting and decide on the next course of action, which includes requesting the government to take actions to prevent any threat from China.

Besides ISPAI, other industry bodies have also supported the ban of apps.

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said the ban on 59 mobile apps will be a big support to its "Boycott Chinese goods" campaign.

"This huge unprecedented step will go a long way in strengthening the 'Boycott China' campaign of CAIT. Boycott China movement is now well and truly a national reality and seven crore traders of India stands in solidarity with the Union Government," CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said in a statement.