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India blocks top Chinese apps Baidu & Weibo

As per reports, PM Modi has also quit Weibo following the heightened tensions

baidu, weibo,  chinese apps, narendra modi, sina corporation, apps banned, chinese apps banned

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  4 Aug 2020 5:56 AM GMT

Guwahati: The campaign to boycott Chinese products and apps continues across India following the violent face-off at Galwan Valley in Ladakh in the month of June.

In yet another step towards an 'Atmanirbhar Bharat', India has blocked Baidu Search and Weibo, which are among the two most influential Chinese apps and labeled as the country's answer to Google search and Twitter, respectively.

Weibo, launched in 2009 by Sina Corporation, has over 500 million users registered globally.

It had Prime Minister Narendra Modi as one of its prime users after he opened an account on the Chinese microblogging website in 2015 ahead of his visit to China.

Initially, when PM Modi joined the app, his inaugural post read, "Hello China! Looking forward to interacting with Chinese friends through Weibo"

However, the Prime Minister quit Weibo amid simmering tensions with the neighboring country at the border.

Notably, Baidu has also been testing waters in India and one of its key products here is the Facemoji keyboard.

Notably, the CEO of Baidu Robin Li while visiting India this year, discussed increasing engagement in India.

The two apps, which are among the significant internet products of China, have been asked to be taken off from the app stores of Google and Apple, while internet service providers (IPSs) have also been told to block them.

"They are among the 47 new apps that the government had banned on July 27," an official source informed.

India's first decision to ban 59 Chinese apps — such as TikTok, UC Browser, Helo, Likee, Shareit, Mi Community, WeChat and CamScanner — was taken on June 29, the government had also added 47 more to the list.

It is to be mentioned that most apps in the second list included clones and different versions of some of the original apps, such as TikTok Lite, Likee Lite, Bigo Live Lite, Shareit Lite, and CamScanner HD.

The Indian government has decided to block the apps after accusing them of "engaging in activities which are prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".

During his visit to IIT Madras, Baidu's CEO Li had stated that the company wants to work with Indian technology institutions, especially in areas such as artificial intelligence and mobile computing.

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