42 China-linked apps spyware threat: Intelligence Bureau

The Intelligence Bureau believes the Chinese apps are detrimental to data security and a threat to national security. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 28, 2017, 11.10 AM (IST)

The Intelligence Bureau(IB) today alerted the government on alleged "spyware or other malicious content" on Chinese apps being used in Indian mobile phone connections.

The IB believes at least 42 apps are linked to Chinese spyware and has instructed the government to have it removed from phones used by Indian Army soldiers.

The intelligence agency has reportedly picked up a number of Android and ioS apps developed by Chinese developers. The agency believes the apps are "detrimental to data security" and a huge threat to national security.

India's premier intelligence bureau has told the government that military personnel who are already using it should "immediately uninstall the app" and "reformat their cellphones as per strict compliance".

India is one of the biggest markets for Chinese smartphones with Vivo, Xiaomi, OnePlus & Lenovo dominating the market. Last year, India had displaced the US as the second largest shipment of smartphones crossing 100 million with several being manufactured by Chinese cellphone makers. 

In July, the Indian government had decided to ban a few Chinese phones over security concerns as some did not have the IMEI number - the 15-digit number used to track mobile phones.