The action against ‘Mi Browser Pro – Video Download, Free Fast & Secure’ has the potential to impact the performance of the devices, some market analysts say, though the company is taking steps to initiate a conversation with the government to clarify its position. Officials at the company insist that the move “will not impact the performance of the devices”, and users are free to download any other browser.
The government has ordered another Chinese app QQ International also be blocked.
The action against the Xiaomi browser could impact the functioning of those devices while accessing the internet, official sources said. Xiaomi has sold over 10 crore smartphones in the country, and is the leading mobile brand.
When contacted, Xiaomi said the company will talk to ministry officials to sort out the matter, adding that it follows the local data protection and other regulations and guidelines. “Xiaomi continues to comply and adhere to all data privacy and security requirements under the Indian law. We are working towards understanding the development and will take appropriate measures as required,” a company spokesperson said. “As part of the process, we will work with key stakeholders for an opportunity to make our submissions,” the spokesperson added.
The action against Xiaomi comes along with the wider measures initiated against a variety of Chinese apps operating in India. The steps had been initiated after the growing tensions between India and China over border disputes.
On June 29, the government had decided to ban 59 Chinese apps, including key ones such as TikTok, UC Browser, Helo, Likee, Shareit, Mi Community, WeChat and CamScanner. The government had blocked another 47 apps on July 27, and these included Baidu Search and Weibo, dubbed as China’s answer to Google search and Twitter respectively.
The government had 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”.
Sources said that an internal committee of the IT ministry is looking into the submissions made by the apps, after they were asked to clarify their position through a series of over 70 questions. “Any decision to engage them in a conversation will be taken only after that,” an official source said.