According to media reports, as per instructions sent on November 24, Indian troops on the China border have been asked to format their smartphones and delete apps that may be compromising national security. It added that a number of Android and iOS apps developed by Chinese companies or having Chinese links are either spyware or malicious and use of these apps by the troops can be detrimental to national security.
While WeChat is a messaging platform, UC News is an app developed by the Alibaba Group.
Other apps on the list include micro-blogging site Weibo, file transfer application SHAREit, and NewsDog. Owned by a Chinese company called Hacker Interstellar, NewsDog is a news aggregator app that has partnered with publishers to offer content in English and Hindi.
Mobile communications app Truecaller has clarified that it has no links to China. "In response to certain reports, we would like to clarify that we are a Sweden-based company. We are not sure why our app is on this list but we're investigating," the company said in a statement to ET.
It added that Truecaller is not a malware, and claimed that all its features are permission based and are disabled by default.
The development comes just a few months after the Indian government directed over two dozen smartphone makers, most of which are Chinese, to inform it about the procedures and processes they follow to ensure the security of mobile phones sold in India, following reports of data leakage and theft.
Chinese handset makers led by Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Lenovo and Gionee account for more than half of India's $10-billion smartphone market, with most of these companies having servers in China. Xiaomi has its servers in Singapore and the US.
The government is still in the process of compiling the inputs provided by these companies. Other apps on the list include Mi Video Call, Baidu Maps, Mi Store, virus cleaner Hi Security Lab among others.