London/New Delhi (CNN Business)India has banned another collection of Chinese apps, including the mobile version of popular game PUBG, as tensions between the two countries rise again over disputed territory along their shared border.
The country’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology announced Wednesday that it would block 118 additional apps that “are engaged in activities which [are] prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order.”
The list also includes Chinese search giant Baidu and Alipay, the mobile payment app from Ant Group, the financial affiliate of Jack Ma’s Alibaba (BABA).
India had already blocked use of TikTok, the short video phenomenon from ByteDance, and scores of other apps in recent months. The list on Wednesday included two apps named “VPN for Tik Tok,” which appear to be designed to skirt the restrictions.
The decision to bar Tencent’s (TCEHY) mobile game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, or PUBG, could be especially disruptive. PUBG was the top mobile game by monthly active users in India last year, according to analytics firm AppAnnie.
The moves are the latest sign that the relationship between India and China is fraying badly. The two countries, both nuclear powers, have been increasingly at odds since a deadly border clash in June.
That incident, which left 20 Indian soldiers dead, was followed by calls for calm and deescalation. But negotiations between Indian and Chinese officials failed to break ground, and the tensions have spilled over into the trading relationship, worth more than $80 billion, between the two largest powers in Asia.
The situation on the border is heating up again. Earlier this week, China accused Indian troops of illegally trespassing on Chinese territory in the Himalayas, setting the stage for another standoff.
— Sherisse Pham contributed reporting.
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