Bangalore: India intensifies repression against Chinese tech companies with a government official saying that UC security browser tests in China are underway to see if the data are fleeing.
The test in the popular UCWEB browser made by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is underway and the government expects a report before deciding any action, said Wednesday Ajay Prakash Sawhney, secretary electronics and information technology ministry. UC Browser has more than 100 million monthly active users in India and has more than 50% of the mobile browser market in the country.
The Electronics and Computer Ministry said earlier this month that it was “securing India’s cyberspace” and its digital infrastructure. More than two dozen smartphone companies were asked to provide detailed written responses by August 28 in their “security and safety practices, architecture, frameworks, guidelines and standards.”
Device manufacturers include leading Chinese companies such as Xiaomi, Lenovo, Oppo, Vivo and Gionee and global brands from Apple and Samsung and Indian companies. Although the Government has not designated Chinese telephone companies, it said in the directive that mobile devices have achieved a penetration of 75% in the Indian market and “is necessary to ensure the safety and security of devices.
“Brands such as Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo and Lenovo have increased their market share, accounting for more than half of India’s smartphone shipments in the second quarter after it ends in June, according to data from IDC researcher. Quickly closes the gap with the leading brand in the country, Samsung plans to open 100 brick and mortar stores in the next two years to improve its market share.
Samsung, Apple, Micromax, Oppo and Vivo do not comply with emails requesting comments on the government directive. Xiaomi declined to comment. The security audit is carried out in a tense confrontation between the armies of India and China in the territory of the small mountain kingdom of Bhutan.
On the other side of the border, the Chinese government has imposed restrictions on companies such as Apple, which had to eliminate dozens of popular applications that allowed users to access virtual private networks or VPNs to bypass the government’s Rigorous Internet Filters system.
The sudden directive of India has confused the manufacturers of telephones. “Do not play hide and seek.If the government wants the data from India not to leave, it must be said decisively,” said Pankaj Mohindroo, national president of the Indian Cellular Association, in a telephone interview.
The government could try to locate the servers hosting data in India, to the national requests for firewall and create a standard for the secure phone, he said. ICA is the country’s largest commercial organization with at least 50 device manufacturers as well as an application for manufacturers, distributors and retailers. “We recognize the requirement of national security and the protection of customer data,” the ICA said in an official statement.
Not only the growing market share of Chinese brands worries the government, but also that most of the components are imported directly from China. “More than 95% of China’s components are either manufactured by Chinese companies in Taiwan or elsewhere, nothing is done in India like chargers, batteries and headphones,” said Sudhir Hasija, president of Karbonn Mobiles, a budget phone National manufacturer.
“It feels that China collects data through its intelligent games for users,” said Hasija. “The concern of the whole world is also the anxiety of the Indian government.” India’s electronic imports could reach 300 billion by 2020, increasing demand to $ 400 billion, according to a June forecast by the Association of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, a body Industry.